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Hypopituitarism in Children

  • Over the past two decades or so, we've learned a lot about how the pituitary gland develops. Today, that ever-evolving knowledge helps us better serve our patients and their families.

    Laurie Cohen, MD, director, Neuroendocrinology Program

    You may have never heard of hypopituitarism until your child was diagnosed with it. Hypopituitarism occurs when the anterior (front) lobe of the pituitary gland loses its ability to make hormones. The resulting symptoms depend on which hormones are no longer being produced by the gland.

    The good news is that treating the underlying condition that’s causing your child’s hypopituitarism often leads to a full recovery.

    • Hypopituitarism is also called an underactive pituitary gland.
    • The loss may be partial or total.
    • Because the pituitary gland affects the other endocrine organs, symptoms and effects of hypopituitarism may be gradual, or sudden and dramatic.
    • The most common pituitary hormone deficiency is growth hormone deficiency.
    • Hypopituitarism is rare in children.
    • Its various symptoms can usually be effectively controlled with medication.

    How Children’s Hospital Boston approaches hypopituitarism

    At Children’s, you can rest assured knowing that your child will be cared for by knowledgeable physicians who’ve devoted their careers to understanding this condition. We treat children with hypopituitarism in our General Endocrinology Program—a multidisciplinary program dedicated to the treatment of children with a wide range of endocrinological disorders. For these children, our dedicated team of doctors, nurses and other caregivers offer hope for a healthier future.

    Ranked #1 in Endocrinology
    In 2014, Boston Children's Hospital was ranked #1 in Endocrinology by U.S. News & World Report.

    Reviewed by Laurie Cohen, MD
    © Children’s Hospital Boston, 2010

The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO