The relation between pituitary magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and anterior pituitary function was studied in 36 patients with classic idiopathic GH deficiency These patients were divided into three groups based on MRI findings which were compared with those of 14 normal short children, i.e. normal stalk (N=6), narrowed stalk (N=20), and transected stalk (N=10). The transected and narrowed stalk groups showed significantly delayed TSH responses to TRH compared with the normal stalk group and with the normal short children. Further, the mean maximal TSH increment in the narrowed and transected stalk group was slightly greater than that in normal short children. In contrast, there were no differences in basal plasma GH and PRL levels and their responses to GHRH and TRH among the three groups when the patients were divided into normal anterior pituitary and atrophic pituitary groups regardless of stalk changes or when they were divided into groups of stalk changes (narrowing and transection) with and without pituitary atrophy, no differences in GH, TSH and PRL dynamics between the groups were observed these results indicate that pituitary thyrotrope functions, but not somatotrope and lactotrope functions, in patients with idiopathic GH deficiency are more closely correlated to stalk changes than to anterior pituitary changes observed on MRI.
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