Pituitary volume in men with concurrent heroin and cocaine dependence

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1993 Jun;76(6):1529-32. doi: 10.1210/jcem.76.6.8501161.


Pituitary gland volume was measured in 16 men between the ages of 26-33 with magnetic resonance imaging. Eight male patients had a Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III-Revised, American Psychiatric Association Axis I diagnosis of concurrent opioid and cocaine dependence. The average duration of opioid and cocaine abuse was 7.8 +/- 2.0 and 6.9 +/- 1.4 yr, respectively. All patients were in good physical health as determined by physical examination, blood chemistry, hemogram and hormone analysis, and all tested negatively for the HIV antibody. No patient had any other Diagnostic and Statistical Manual III-Revised Axis I diagnosis or neurological disorder. Eight healthy males served as age-matched control subjects. None of the control subjects had any past or current history of substance abuse or any clinical indication for magnetic resonance imaging. Opioid and cocaine dependent men had significantly larger pituitary gland volumes (730.0 +/- 24.4 mm3) than control subjects (540.0 +/- 26.6 mm3) (P < 0.01). The significant increase in pituitary gland volume in men who abuse opiates and cocaine may be antecedent to detection of abnormal anterior pituitary hormone function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cocaine*
  • Heroin*
  • Hormones / blood
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pituitary Gland / pathology*
  • Reference Values
  • Substance-Related Disorders / blood
  • Substance-Related Disorders / pathology*


  • Hormones
  • Heroin
  • Cocaine