Onset of pituitary hormone deficiencies in optic nerve hypoplasia: a temporal trend analysis of 32 children at Mayo Clinic

Heather D. Wadams, Nidhi Gupta, Paul Novotny, Peter J. Tebben

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background The objective of this study was to evaluate the age at onset and frequency of individual pituitary hormone deficiencies (PHDs) in optic nerve hypoplasia (ONH). Methods We performed a retrospective chart review of patients ≤21 years of age evaluated between 1996 and 2014. Patients were included if they had: (1) ONH diagnosed by an ophthalmologist and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), (2) documentation of pituitary hormone function on at least two separate occasions and (3) at least one PHD documented or a midline abnormality of the brain on MRI. Results Thirty-two patients (18 females, 14 males) were included (median age, 8 years [range, 1.1-21.0 years]). All patients had ONH (bilateral, n = 31; unilateral, n = 1) and at least one midline abnormality of the brain. At least one PHD was present in 75% of patients (n = 24). The remaining 25% of patients (n = 8) did not develop any PHD at least until the last follow-up (<2-8.6 years of follow-up), despite the presence of ONH and a midline abnormality of the brain. The median age (years) at diagnosis of antidiuretic hormone (ADH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and growth hormone (GH) deficiencies was 0.5, 0.6, 0.7 and 1.6, respectively. Twenty-three percent of all PHDs were identified during the neonatal period, 56% by 12 months and 72% by 36 months of age. The latest age at diagnosis of GH, ACTH and TSH deficiencies was 9.6, 9.9 and 12.6 years, respectively. Conclusions The majority of the PHDs in ONH develop within the first 3 years of life. We propose evaluation for endocrinopathies at the time of diagnosis of ONH, with repeat assessment for new deficiencies every 3-4 months until age 3 years and at least semi-annually until growth and puberty are complete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism : JPEM
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 28 2020


  • growth hormone deficiency
  • hypopituitarism
  • panhypopituitarism
  • septo-optic dysplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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