Predictors of post-traumatic pituitary failure during long-term follow-up
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There is increasing awareness among physicians of the risks of traumatic brain injury (TBI)-induced hypopituitarism. We have assessed the prevalence and risk factors of posttraumatic hypopituitarism by analyzing the TBI database of the University of Pecs.
This consecutive analysis of 126 TBI survivors (mean age: 42.4 years, average follow-up time: 48 months) revealed that 60.3% had severe and 39.7% moderately severe trauma based on GCS score. Subdural hemorrhage (29.3%) and diffuse injury (27%) were the most common types of injury; 17.5% of patients suffered basal skull fractures.
The prevalence of major anterior pituitary failure was 57.1%. Occurrence of total and partial growth hormone deficiency (GHD/GHI) was 39.7%, while LH/FSH, TSH and ACTH deficiencies were less frequent, namely 23.0%, 16.7% and 10.3%, respectively. Of the 82 patients with multiple endocrine evaluations, 31.7% presented significant changes in hormonal deficiencies during the follow-up period: new hormone deficiencies developed in 16 patients, while hormonal disturbances resolved in 10 subjects. Looking for factors influencing the prevalence of pituitary dysfunction, endocrine results were analyzed in relation to age, gender, GCS scores, injury types, basal skull fracture, ventricular drain insertion and necessity of neurosurgical intervention. All hormonal disturbances were more prevalent after severe trauma (OR: 3.25, p = 0.002), while the need for surgery proved to be an independent determinant of multiple and GH deficits (OR: 3.72 (p = 0.004) and 9.33 (p = 0.001)).
Post-traumatic hypopituitarism is common and may evolve or resolve over time. Victims of severe TBI and/or patients who have undergone neurosurgical intervention for head injury are the most prone to post-traumatic hypopituitarism.
Key wordsTraumatic brain injury Hypopituitarism GCS Growth hormone deficiency
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