JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Incidence and Outcomes of Pituitary Microadenomas in Children with Short Stature/Growth Hormone Deficiency.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Patients with short stature (SS)/growth hormone deficiency (GHD) and precocious puberty (PP) undergo brain MRI to evaluate for structural brain abnormalities or pituitary lesions, and pituitary microadenomas are a common finding. Theoretically, a mass effect from these lesions could cause GHD and growth hormone treatment could cause them to enlarge, but they should not cause PP, at least in females.

METHODS: We investigated if pituitary microadenomas cause GHD by comparing their incidence in patients with SS/GHD to that in females with PP. We performed a retrospective chart review of patients with these disorders who had a brain MRI between 2000 and 2013.

RESULTS: The incidence of microadenoma was high in both groups, 18.5% for SS (n = 346) and 21.1% for PP females (n = 194), but did not differ between groups (p = 0.46). In patients with microadenomas, repeat imaging showed resolution in 58% (SS, n = 33) and 67% (PP females, n = 21). Importantly, none of the lesions grew, even in patients treated with growth hormone.

CONCLUSIONS: Pituitary microadenomas are common in children with GHD/SS and PP, but it does not appear that they are a cause of GHD. They appear to be of limited clinical significance and should not be considered a contraindication to growth hormone therapy.

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