Lymphocytic adenohypophysitis and lymphocytic infundibuloneurohypophysitis

Endocr J. 1997 Feb;44(1):1-10. doi: 10.1507/endocrj.44.1.


One hundred and twenty-four cases of lymphocytic adenohypophysitis have been reported since 1962. Nearly 60% of the cases in women involved inset of the disease in relation to pregnancy. Headache and visual field defects were the most frequent symptoms. Most patients showed signs of either isolated or multiple anterior pituitary hormone deficiency. ACTH secretion was impaired the most frequently, followed by TSH, gonadotropins, GH and PRL secretion. One third of the cases involved hyperprolactinemia. Tissue from patients with lymphocytic infundibuloneurohypophysitis, also suffering from DI, revealed lymphocytic inflammation limited to the infundibulum, stalk, and neurohypophysis. Twenty of these 124 lymphocytic adenohypophysitis patients developed DI before treatment, and neuroimaging studies revealed thickening of the pituitary stalk in some. At least in a few cases, chronic lymphocytic infiltration occurred in both the infundibuloneurohypophysitis and adenohypophysis. Although both lymphocytic adenohypophysitis and infundibuloneurohypophysitis may be caused by autoimmune disorders, the antigens involved may differ.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / pathology*
  • Lymphocytosis* / complications
  • Lymphocytosis* / etiology
  • Lymphocytosis* / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Diseases* / complications
  • Pituitary Diseases* / etiology
  • Pituitary Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Pituitary Gland, Anterior
  • Pituitary Gland, Posterior
  • Pituitary Hormones, Anterior / deficiency
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications* / etiology
  • Pregnancy Complications* / physiopathology
  • Pregnancy Complications* / therapy


  • Pituitary Hormones, Anterior