Headache and Depression in Patients with Hypothalamic-pituitary Disorders-etiology and Risk Factors

B Harbeck, C S Haas, S Suefke, P Kropp, H Moenig
Experimental and Clinical Endocrinology & Diabetes 2015, 123 (9): 571-4

INTRODUCTION: Headache and depression are common problems in patients with hypothalamic-pituitary disorders (HPD).

AIM: To determine the prevalence of headache and depression in patients with HPD and the specific characteristics in affected individuals in comparison to patients with cardiovascular problems (CD).

METHODS: Patients with HPD and CD were asked to complete a questionnaire regarding headache and depression.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the HPD and the CD group. Prevalence of headache was not associated with the treatment modality of pituitary disease, hormone excess syndromes or any hormonal replacement therapy. However, ACTH, TSH and GH deficiency were associated with less headache when compared to patients with adequate secretion. Interestingly, patients who had prior surgery suffered significantly more often from depression. In addition, headache and depression were significantly more common in patients with microadenomas than in macroadenomas.

DISCUSSION: The risk for headache and depression is mainly influenced by a combination of factors, but a specific pituitary hormone deficiency may decrease risk for headache.

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