A Five Year Prospective Investigation of Anterior Pituitary Function after Traumatic Brain Injury: Is Hypopituitarism Long-Term after Head Trauma Associated with Autoimmunity?

TANRIVERDİ F., De Bellis A., ULUTABANCA H., Bizzarro A., Sinisi A. A., Bellastella G., ...More

JOURNAL OF NEUROTRAUMA, vol.30, no.16, pp.1426-1433, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 16
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1089/neu.2012.2752
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1426-1433
  • Keywords: anti-hypothalamus antibodies, anti-pituitary antibodies, autoimmunity, growth hormone, pituitary, traumatic brain injury, ANEURYSMAL SUBARACHNOID HEMORRHAGE, GH REPLACEMENT THERAPY, ANTIPITUITARY ANTIBODIES, SHEEHANS-SYNDROME, HORMONE, INSUFFICIENCY, ADULTS, NEURONS, RATS
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been recently recognized as a common cause of pituitary dysfunction. However, there are not sufficient numbers of prospective studies to understand the natural history of TBI induced hypopituitarism. The aim was to report the results of five years' prospective follow-up of anterior pituitary function in patients with mild, moderate and severe TBI. Moreover, we have prospectively investigated the associations between TBI induced hypopituitarism and presence of anti-hypothalamus antibodies (AHA) and anti-pituitary antibodies (APA). Twenty five patients (20 men, five women) were included who were prospectively evaluated 12 months and five years after TBI, and 17 of them also had a third-year evaluation. Growth hormone (GH) deficiency is the most common pituitary hormone deficit at one, three, and five years after TBI. Although most of the pituitary hormone deficiencies improve over time, there were substantial percentages of pituitary hormone deficiencies at the fifth year (28% GH, 4% adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH], and 4% gonadotropin deficiencies). Pituitary dysfunction was significantly higher in strongly AHA- and APA-positive (titers >= 1/16) patients at the fifth year. In patients with mild and moderate TBI, ACTH and GH deficiencies may improve over time in a considerable number of patients but, although rarely, may also worsen over the five-year period. However in severe TBI, ACTH and GH status of the patients at the first year evaluation persisted at the fifth year. Therefore, screening pituitary function after TBI for five years is important, especially in patients with mild TBI. Moreover, close strong associations between the presence of high titers of APA and/or AHA and hypopituitarism at the fifth year were shown for the first time.