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Clinical and laboratory evaluation of 40 patients with Sheehan's syndrome.

Forty patients with typical obstetric history of Sheehan's syndrome were reviewed retrospectively. Together with baseline laboratory values, insulin hypoglycemia test was evaluated in 15 patients, thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) in 27 and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) in 7 patients. Baseline hormone values suggested secondary hypothyroidism, hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and hypocortisolemia. According to the results of the anterior pituitary stimulation tests, one patient (6.6%) showed normal cortisol response and one patient (6.6%) showed normal growth hormone response to hypoglycemia. Nine patients (33.3%) who were clinically and biochemically hypothyroid demonstrated adequate TSH response to TRH. None of the patients showed normal prolactin response to TRH. Four out of seven amenorrheic patients (57.1%) had adequate follicle-stimulating hormone and/or LH responses to LH-RH. It has been concluded that isolated anterior pituitary hormone deficiencies may occur in patients with Sheehan's syndrome. Prolactin response to TRH seems the most sensitive screening test for detecting Sheehan's syndrome in patients with typical obstetric history.

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