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Agenesis of the internal carotid artery and congenital pituitary hypoplasia: proposal of a cause of congenital hypopituitarism

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We describe a patient with microphallus without pigmentation and multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies. The left internal carotid artery and carotid canal were absent and the pituitary gland and sella turcica showed hypoplasia on MRI and magnetic resonance angiography. The internal carotid artery develops in the 4th embryonic week, while the pituitary primordium develops in the 3rd to 4th week. This suggests a possible relationship between internal carotid artery and congenital hypopituitarism. However, there is bilateral blood supply to the hypophysis via the superior and inferior hypophysial arteries, so it is unknown why pituitary hypoplasia may arise from blocking the unilateral blood supply. Conclusion:disruption of internal carotid artery perfusion may lead to pituitary hypoplasia with congenital hypopituitarism as a new disease entity in humans.

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Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.



agenesis of the internal carotid artery


congenital nasal pyriform aperture stenosis


congenital pituitary hypoplasia


solitary maxillary central incisor


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Correspondence to Yasuji Inamo.

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Inamo, Y., Harada, K. Agenesis of the internal carotid artery and congenital pituitary hypoplasia: proposal of a cause of congenital hypopituitarism. Eur J Pediatr 162, 610–612 (2003).

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  • Agenesis of the internal carotid artery
  • Congenital hypopituitarism
  • Congenital pituitary hypoplasia