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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Lymphocytic hypophysitis

Other Names for this Disease
  • Autoimmune hypophysitis
  • LH
  • LYH
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How might lymphocytic hypophysitis be treated?

Lymphocytic hypophysitis can evolve differently among affected individuals, so different treatment strategies may be required. Some individuals experience spontaneous remission (improvement or reversal of the condition without any formal treatment). Careful follow-up is typically recommended.[1]

Many affected individuals only have headaches as a manifesting symptom, and there have been multiple reports of these individuals improving with glucocorticoids alone.[2] Although the use of glucocorticoids or other anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs have been suggested as medical treatment, their long-term efficacy still needs to be confirmed. High-dose methylprednisolone pulse therapy (short, intensive administration given at set intervals) seems to be effective in about 30% of treated patients.[1]

Transsphenoidal surgery (accessed "through the nose") to confirm diagnosis and save viable pituitary tissue may be required in individuals with symptoms or signs of severe compression.[1] Visual improvement following decompression with this type of surgery has been reported.[2] In some cases, pituitary biopsy is both diagnostic and therapeutic, because after this procedure a progressive recovery of pituitary function may occur.[1]
Last updated: 10/1/2012

  1. Antonio Bellastella, Antonio Bizzarro, Concetta Coronella, Giuseppe Bellastella, Antonio Agostino Sinisi and Annamaria De Bellis. Lymphocytic hypophysitis: a rare or underestimated disease?. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2003; 149:363-376.
  2. Bernard Corenblum. Pituitary Disease and Pregnancy. Medscape Reference. July 6, 2011; Accessed 10/1/2012.