Midline brain lesions in children with hormone insufficiency indicate early prenatal damage

Acta Paediatr. 1998 May;87(5):528-36.


The relationships between midline brain morphology, anterior visual pathway morphology and hormonal status in children with impaired growth were studied. Intracranial morphology was studied by magnetic resonance imaging in 47 children (14F, 33M), median age 9.7y (range 2.6-18.7y) undergoing growth hormone treatment (GH; 0.1 U/kg/d). They were chosen to represent various birth sizes and a spectrum of hormone insufficiencies. There was a relationship between GH secretion and the morphology of the neurohypophysis, the pituitary stalk and the anterior visual pathways, i.e. the greater the GH insufficiency, the more abnormal were these structures. The children with anterior visual pathway abnormalities had the lowest GH levels and the smallest adenohypophysis. The association between abnormalities of the anterior visual pathways and the hypothalamo-pituitary structures may reflect a common prenatal neural damage in embryologically and anatomically closely related structures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain / abnormalities
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Growth Disorders / drug therapy
  • Growth Disorders / etiology
  • Growth Disorders / metabolism*
  • Growth Disorders / pathology*
  • Growth Hormone / deficiency*
  • Growth Hormone / metabolism
  • Growth Hormone / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Optic Nerve / pathology
  • Pituitary Hormones / deficiency
  • Pituitary Hormones / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Pathways / abnormalities
  • Visual Pathways / pathology*


  • Pituitary Hormones
  • Growth Hormone