Hong Kong Pacific Diabetes & Endocrine Centre
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endocrine diseases

Hong Kong Pacific Diabetes
& Endocrine Centre

Pituitary Gland

Pituitary gland is a small gland located at the base of the brain, and it secretes the most hormones among all endocrine gland. It is also a ‘master’ gland which influence the secretion of hormones from other endocrine glands.
Pituitary gland produces and secretes the following hormones:
Growth hormone (GH), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), prolactin (PRL), oxytocin, and antidiuretic hormone (ADH). If a tumor arises from pituitary gland, it may accompany with over secretion of pituitary hormone which affect the normal body metabolism.

Prolactinoma
Prolactinoma is the most common functioning pituitary adenoma. It secretes excessive amount of prolactin. Women may presents with menstrual irregularity, absence of menses, galactorrhoea (milk secreting from nipple) and infertility. Men having prolactinoma will have symptoms of erectile dysfunction and infertility. Most cases of prolactinoma can be medically treated.

Growth hormone adenoma
Excessive growth hormone thickens the soft tissue of the hand and feet and enlarges jaw bone, a condition known as acromegaly or gigantism. Patients will have higher risk of diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea or colonic cancer.

Adrenocorticotrophic adenoma, also known as Cushing’s disease, produces excessive ACTH which stimulates cortisol secretion from adrenal gland. Patient with Cushing’s disease will have excessive weight gain, moonface, central obesity, uncontrolled hypertension and diabetes.

TSH secreting tumor
A rare form of pituitary adenoma. Excessive secretion of TSH stimulates excessive production of thyroid hormones from thyroid gland and stimulates the growth of thyroid gland. Patient presents with symptoms of thyrotoxiciosis and enlarging goitre.

Non-functioning pituitary adenoma
Non-functioning pituitary adenoma does not produce excessive pituitary hormones. However, if the tumor grows bigger, patient will experience compressive symptoms such as headache, blurred or double vision, or even hypopituitarism (inadequate secretion of pituitary hormones).