Open Access

Pituitary imaging findings in pediatric patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism


Objective. Idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism in children is a disease leading to a puberty absence. Some hypothalamic and pituitary defects cause hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. Pituitary magnetic resonance imaging is routinely performed in these patients. In our study, we provide an information about pituitary pathologies associated with an idiopathic hypogonado-tropic hypogonadism in childhood.

Methods. Twenty-two patients, who were admitted to the pediatric endocrine outpatient clinic of our hospital because of their undeveloped secondary sex characteristics during adolescence, were included in our study. Age, gender, history, physical examination findings, and laboratory tests were recorded in patients. Pituitary magnetic resonance imaging results were examined. The criteria for the diagnosis of hypogonadism were: absence of puberty or delayed puberty, clinical signs or symptoms of hypogonadism, and presence of low or normal gonadotropin levels.

Results. In the present study, 22 patients were diagnosed with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. The mean age of the patients was 15.90±1.09 years. Basal and stimulated luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating hormone levels of the patients were found to be low. Prolactin, cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone, free thyroxine, and thyroid stimulating hormone levels were within normal limits in all patients. The pituitary magnetic resonance imaging revealed six patients with pituitary adenoma, one with empty sella turcica, and five with pituitary hypoplasia.

Conclusions. The present data showed that in the presence of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, the hypothalamic-pituitary abnormalities are more likely to be present in the children compared to the adult population. Thus, it can be strongly emphasized the importance of the pituitary imaging examination, especially in the idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism cases.