Primary Hypothyroidism and Pituitary Insufficiency

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A 40-year-old man with primary hypothyroidism and sellar enlargement is described. There was deficiency of all pituitary tropic hormones except TSH which was elevated. TRH stimulation revealed responsiveness of pituitary thyrotropic cells, and thyroxine administration suppressed the elevated TSH. These findings are compatible with either a TSH-producing chromophobe adenoma resulting from primary hypothyroidism or, because of the suppressibility of the TSH secretion, thyrotropic hyperplasia secondary to hypothyroidism maintaining TSH secretion in the face of a non-TSH-secreting pituitary tumor.

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