Kallman syndrome versus idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism at MR imaging

Radiology. 1994 Apr;191(1):53-7. doi: 10.1148/radiology.191.1.8134597.


Purpose: To identify morphologic differences between Kallman syndrome (KS) and idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH) and establish a role for magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in these disorders.

Materials and methods: Twenty-eight patients were compared with 10 eugonal male volunteers. Eighteen patients had KS (hypogonadotropic hypogonadism with anosmia) and 10 had IHH. All participants underwent hormone analysis, a sniff-bottle smell test, and gadolinium-enhanced MR imaging. Changes in the hypothalamic-hypophyseal region and the rhinencephalon were evaluated.

Results: MR imaging revealed intracranial morphologic changes in all patients on plain T1-weighted sections. Seventeen patients with KS demonstrated aplasia of an olfactory bulb; one olfactory sulcus was absent in six, rudimentary in four, and normal in eight. Olfactory bulbs were present in all 10 IHH patients and three showed one slightly hypoplastic bulb. Ten patients with KS and three with IHH showed an enlarged paranasal sinus system. Further MR findings were similar.

Conclusion: MR imaging demonstrates abnormalities of the rhinencephalon present in KS patients and occasionally absent in IHH patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Gonadotropins, Pituitary / blood
  • Humans
  • Hypogonadism / blood
  • Hypogonadism / diagnosis*
  • Kallmann Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olfactory Bulb / pathology
  • Pituitary Gland / pathology


  • Gonadotropins, Pituitary