Pituitary adenoma in children - a rare disease

pituitary adenoma in children pituitary gland - a small gland, shaped like peanuts, located in the brain, at about the same level as the eyes.Pituitary adenoma in children is rare, but still there are such cases.Typically such adenomas are benign, i.e., non-cancerous tumors.However, because the pituitary gland plays an important role in regulating the body's hormonal levels, even minor changes in its structure can have a serious impact on the mood of the child's ability to concentrate, as well as the overall development.Pituitary adenomas may also cause the symptoms associated with the pressure of the tumor on adjacent parts of the brain, such as headaches and vision problems.

classification of pituitary adenomas

pituitary adenomas that produce hormones are collectively called functional adenomas, but they are also called by the name of the hormone secretion which they cause.For example, an adenoma that produces prolactin, called prolactinoma;adenomas secreting corticotropin kortikotropinomy call, and so on.Each of these adenomas in patients causes a characteristic syndrome associated with the secretion of a hormone.

adenomas that do not produce hormones are called non-functional.They may cause problems that are a result of pressure on different parts of the tumor in the brain.

Symptoms Symptoms of pituitary adenoma in children can range from small and poorly defined, such as lethargy or, on the contrary, the restlessness, to more serious symptoms, such as headaches, vomiting and dizziness.One of the problems associated with the diagnosis of pituitary adenoma, is that most of the children from time to time that are sluggish, but very active, and the parents do not always turn on this issue to the doctor.In most cases, they're right - as a rule, such changes are associated with the usual mood swings naturally to everyone.However, if the child's mood changes very often or abruptly, or it can be a long time irritable, contact your doctor.

older children and adolescents may be other symptoms of pituitary adenomas, including - problems with growth and development.For example, girls and boys under the age of nine years, may be signs of puberty - in such cases we say about early puberty.This may be a pituitary adenoma that produces luteinizing hormone.In this case, the girls begin to grow breasts, pubic hair appear, menstruation begins.The boys grow genitals and begin to grow pubic hair and face.Pituitary adenomas secreting FSH may, on the contrary, slow sexual maturation and development as a whole in both sexes.

If pituitary adenoma Pituitary adenoma - a benign tumor dangerous Pituitary adenoma - a benign tumor dangerous limits gonadotropin secretion, it may affect the development and function of the ovaries and testes.In this case, the teenage boys during puberty does not start on time, sometimes they fall out hair on the face and groin.In teenage girls, too, slows puberty;If menstruation has already begun, there may be a violation of the menstrual cycle, as well as the loss of pubic hair.

Children with decreased secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) may be reduced blood sugar blood sugar - one of the main indicators of human health Blood sugar - one of the main indicators of human health ;observed symptoms such as fatigue, low blood pressure, sometimes - dizziness, when the child gets up.On the other hand, pituitary adenoma that produce ACTH may cause delayed growth and puberty, weight gain, acne, deposits a large amount of subcutaneous fat on selected areas of the body, for example, on the back and base of the neck.Adenomas of this type may also cause weakness, depression, memory problems, and sudden partial or complete loss of vision.

Some pituitary adenoma can disrupt the thyroid gland, secreting too much thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).This leads to an increase in the thyroid gland, in the neck, and the person has a noticeable bulge, which is called goiter.In children with these tumors develop hyperthyroidism - a violation whose symptoms include nervousness, increased heart rate, weight reduction, strong appetite, increased sensitivity to heat and sweating.

pituitary adenomas, which lead to a decrease in TSH, can also have a significant impact on the child.As a rule, children have trouble concentrating and learning, there are symptoms such as fatigue, constipation, dry skin, increased sensitivity to low temperatures.In girls, the low level of TSH can lead to menstrual irregularities.

Another type of pituitary adenomas reduces the secretion of vasopressin - a hormone that influences the reabsorption of water by the kidneys.The lack of vasopressin causes severe thirst, frequent urination, a very strong appetite, accompanied by exhaustion, weakness, and fainting.

pituitary adenomas that produce excessive amounts of the hormone prolactin, can lead to the cessation of menstruation in women, and cause impotence Impotence - a female perspective on the problem Impotence - a female perspective on the problem and young people.In young children, such adenomas often slow down or even stop puberty.

pituitary adenomas, which limit the secretion of growth hormone can slow the growth of children, and lead to a reduction in blood sugar levels sugar in the blood - a very important indicator Blood sugar - a very important indicator , which in turn causes dizziness, fainting, anxiety anda strong sense of hunger.If pituitary adenoma produces excess growth hormone, in the absence of treatment, which may result in gigantism.

If a child has already begun or completed puberty, excess growth hormone can cause an abnormal increase in the feet, hands, lips, nose and jaw - a violation is called acromegaly.These patients are also observed excessive sweating and fatigue.

The most common type of pituitary adenoma in children is craniopharyngioma - a tumor that forms from the embryonic stem cells of the pituitary gland.Such adenomas are innate.Often they put pressure on the optic nerves that leads to impaired vision.Craniopharyngiomas also lead to a shortage of the majority of hormones produced by the pituitary gland, resulting in this case can be observed any violation of the above symptoms.


pituitary adenomas can be detected using X-ray, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.However, many pituitary adenomas are so small that they can not be seen with the help of medical imaging;they can be diagnosed using various laboratory tests.For example, doctors may do blood tests or urine tests for certain hormones, a few hours after the child entered a substance that normally should stimulate or inhibit the secretion of certain hormones.

Very often used during diagnostic glucose tolerance test.In the morning, before breakfast, child drinks containing glucose solution, after which he bled for analysis, and the measured blood sugar and growth hormone.


pituitary adenomas that produce excessive amounts of prolactin, are successfully treated with the help of drug therapy in 89% of children with this disorder.Many other kinds of pituitary adenomas is also good to treat these or other drugs.If the child contraindicated medications commonly used for treatment of pituitary adenoma, or if they were ineffective, can be assigned to minimally invasive surgery, radiotherapy, or a combination of several methods applied.Invasive surgery, requiring craniotomy are needed only in rare cases - for example, when the tumor is very large and continues to grow, and if an adenoma can lead to vision loss and other serious health effects.

In some cases, after treatment, patients can be assigned to hormone replacement therapy.