Purpose: Magnetic resonance imaging has been used to examine children with optic nerve hypoplasia for pituitary abnormalities who may be at risk for anterior pituitary hormonal deficiencies. We correlated the sellar and optic pathway anatomic findings on magnetic resonance imaging in children with optic nerve hypoplasia with findings from their endocrinologic and ophthalmologic examinations to determine whether magnetic resonance imaging findings predict anterior and posterior pituitary dysfunction.
Methods: A retrospective review identified five children with optic nerve hypoplasia and endocrinopathy who also underwent high resolution volumetric magnetic resonance imaging.
Results: All children had severe bilateral optic nerve hypoplasia and anterior pituitary hormone deficiencies. Three children had no recognizable intrasellar or ectopic posterior pituitary bright spot on magnetic resonance imaging; all had clinical evidence of diabetes insipidus. Two patients with a recognizable but ectopic posterior pituitary did not have diabetes insipidus.
Conclusion: Children with optic nerve hypoplasia and no recognizable posterior lobe of the pituitary gland on magnetic resonance imaging are at risk for both anterior and posterior pituitary dysfunction, whereas those with a posterior lobe on magnetic resonance imaging appear to have intact posterior pituitary function.