PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: The goal of this consensus statement is to increase awareness among endocrinologists and physicians treating patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) of the incidence and risks of hypopituitarism among patients with TBI. RATIONALE: TBI poses significant risk to the pituitary gland, leading to elevated risks of diabetes, hypopituitarism and other endocrinopathies. Signs and symptoms associated with hypopituitarism often mimic the sequellae of TBI, although the severity of symptoms is not necessarily related to the severity of the injury. Patients with TBI-induced hypopituitarism may benefit both physically and psychologically from appropriate hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Participants at this unique consensus meeting attempted to define and spearhead an approach to increase awareness of the risks of TBI-induced endocrinopathies, in particular growth hormone deficiency (GHD), and to outline necessary and practical objectives for managing this condition. RECOMMENDATIONS: Systematic screening of pituitary function is recommended for all patients with moderate-to-severe TBI at risk of developing pituitary deficits. Patients with hypopituitarism benefit from appropriate hormonal replacement and prospects for rehabilitation of patients with TBI-induced hypopituitarism may be enhanced by appropriate HRT. Further exploration of this possibility requires: (1) active collaboration between divisions of endocrinology and rehabilitation at the local level to perform a screening of pituitary function in patients after TBI, (2) creation of a consultancy service by endocrine societies for use by rehabilitation centres, (3) development of continuing medical education (CME) programmes that can be offered as crossover training to the physicians who manage the care of patients with TBIs, (4) targeting of patient organizations with educational information for dissemination to patients and their families, (5) continued efforts to more clearly define the population at greatest risk of TBI-induced hypopituitarism and (6) monitor results of efficacy studies as they become available to evaluate whether and how much replacement therapy can improve the symptoms of individuals with TBI-induced hypopituitarism.
Ghigo, E., Masel, B., Aimaretti, G., Leon-Carrion, J., Casanueva, FF., Dominguez-Morales, MR, et al. (2005) Consensus guidelines on screening for hypopituitarism following traumatic brain injury, Brain Injury 19(9): 711-724.Back