Traumatic brain injury induced neuroendocrine changes: acute hormonal changes of anterior pituitary function
Traumatic brain injury induced neuroendocrine changes: acute hormonal changes of anterior pituitary function.
It is estimated that approximately 69 million individuals worldwide will sustain a TBI each year, which accounts for substantial morbidity and mortality in both children and adults. TBI may lead to significant neuroendocrine changes, if the delicate pituitary is ruptured. In this review, we focus on the anterior pituitary hormonal changes in the acute post-TBI period and we present the evidence supporting the need for screening of anterior pituitary function in the early post-TBI time along with current suggestions regarding the endocrine assessment and management of these patients.
Original systematic articles with prospective and/or retrospective design studies of acute TBI were included, as were review articles and case series.
Although TBI may motivate an acute increase of stress hormones, it may also generate a wide spectrum of anterior pituitary hormonal deficiencies. The frequency of post–traumatic anterior hypopituitarism (PTHP) varies according to the severity, the type of trauma, the time elapsed since injury, the study population, and the methodology used to diagnose pituitary hormone deficiency. Early neuroendocrine abnormalities may be transient, but additional late ones may also appear during the course of rehabilitation.
Acute hypocortisolism should be diagnosed and managed promptly, as it can be life-threatening, but currently there is no evidence to support treatment of acute GH, thyroid hormones or gonadotropins deficiencies. However, a more comprehensive assessment of anterior pituitary function should be undertaken both in the early and in the post-acute phase, since ongoing hormone deficiencies may adversely affect the recovery and quality of life of these patients.
Acute post-TBI period; Anterior pituitary hormone deficiency; Post–traumatic hypopituitarism (PTHP); Traumatic brain injury (TBI)