The pituitary gland is called the master endocrine gland of the body because it controls the function of other endocrine organs. The anterior pituitary produces the hormones thyrotropin (thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH]), corticotropin (adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH]), luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), growth hormone (GH), and prolactin (PRL). The anterior pituitary is controlled by specific hypothalamic-releasing hormones. The posterior pituitary produces vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone [ADH]) and oxytocin.
Panhypopituitarism is a condition of inadequate or absent production of the anterior pituitary hormones. It is frequently the result of other problems that affect the pituitary gland and either reduce or destroy its function or interfere with hypothalamic secretion of the varying pituitary-releasing hormones. Panhypopituitarism can be the end result of various clinical scenarios. The signs and symptoms are diverse. Manifestations that suggest congenital anterior hypopituitarism include micropenis, midline defects, optic atrophy, hypoglycemia, and poor growth.