NYMC Faculty Publications

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Pituitary cysts have been speculated to cause endocrinopathies. We sought to describe the prevalence and volumetry of pituitary cysts in patients with growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and idiopathic short stature (ISS).


Six hundred and eighteen children evaluated for growth failure at the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at New York Medical College between the years 2002 and 2012, who underwent GH stimulation testing and had a brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) prior to initiating GH treatment were randomly selected to be a part of this study. High resolution MRI was used to evaluate the pituitary gland for size and the presence of a cyst. Cyst prevalence, cyst volume and percentage of the gland occupied by the cyst (POGO) were documented.


Fifty-six patients had a cyst, giving an overall prevalence of 9.1%. The prevalence of cysts in GHD patients compared to ISS patients was not significant (13.5% vs. 5.7%, p=0.46). Mean cyst volume was greater in GHD patients than ISS patients (62.0 mm3 vs. 29.4 mm3, p=0.01). POGO for GHD patients was significantly greater (p=0.003) than for ISS patients (15.3%+/-12.8 vs. 7.1%+/-8.0). Observers were blinded to patient groups.


GHD patients had a significantly greater volume and POGO compared to ISS patients. This raises the question of whether cysts are implicated in the pathology of growth failure.

Available for download on Friday, November 01, 2019