Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID) in Horses

Vet Sci. 2022 Oct 10;9(10):556. doi: 10.3390/vetsci9100556.


Substantial morbidity results from pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID) which is often underestimated by owners and veterinarians. Clinical signs, pathophysiology, diagnostic tests, and treatment protocols of this condition are reviewed. The importance of improved recognition of early clinical signs and diagnosis are highlighted, as initiation of treatment will result in improved quality of life. Future research should be targeted at improving the accuracy of the diagnosis of PPID, as basal adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) concentration can lack sensitivity and thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) used to assess ACTH response to TRH stimulation is not commercially available as a sterile registered product in many countries. The relationship between PPID and insulin dysregulation and its association with laminitis, as well as additional management practices and long-term responses to treatment with pergolide also require further investigation.

Keywords: endocrine; geriatric; hypertrichosis; immune dysfunction; insulin dysregulation; laminitis; proopiomelanocortin (POMC) derived peptides; α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH); β-endorphin (β-END).

Publication types

  • Review

Grant support

This research received no external funding.