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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Investigation and outcome of neonatal hepatitis in infants with hypopituitarism.

Congenital hypopituitarism is a recognized cause of neonatal hepatitis, but the diagnosis may be difficult to establish even if clinically suspected. In order to determine the natural history of this disorder, the outcome of 12 infants with neonatal hepatitis secondary to hypopituitarism is reviewed. The clinical diagnosis of hypopituitarism was established on a combination of features, which include dysmorphism (4 infants), optic nerve hypoplasia (8 infants), micropenis (5 male infants) and recurrent hypoglycaemia (blood glucose < 2.4 mmol/l (8 infants)). Endocrine investigation revealed low free thyroxine (T4) levels (< 10 pmol/l), with normal thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels (0.4-4.5 mU/l) (11 infants), and serum cortisol levels which were inappropriately low (< 200 nmol/l). In 9 of 12 infants, liver disease resolved within 6 wk following treatment with thyroxine, hydrocortisone and, where appropriate, growth hormone, including Cases 9 and 1 in whom diagnosis and treatment were delayed until 3 mo and 3 y of age, respectively. Liver disease resolved spontaneously in two infants prior to starting hormone replacement therapy (Cases 11, 12), and one male infant (Case 10), in whom the diagnosis and hormone replacement therapy were delayed until 5 y of age, developed cirrhosis and portal hypertension and later underwent liver transplantation. CONCLUSION: The diagnosis of hypopituitarism should always be considered in infants with unexplained neonatal hepatitis. Delay in diagnosis and appropriate treatment was associated with persistently abnormal liver function tests and may lead to irreversible liver disease.[1]


  1. Investigation and outcome of neonatal hepatitis in infants with hypopituitarism. Spray, C.H., Mckiernan, P., Waldron, K.E., Shaw, N., Kirk, J., Kelly, D.A. Acta Paediatr. (2000) [Pubmed]
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