Pituitary hypoplasia and growth hormone deficiency in a woman with glycogen storage disease type Ia: A case report

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DAĞDELEN S., Atmaca A., Alikasifoglu A., Erbas T.

Journal of Medical Case Reports, vol.2, 2008 (Scopus) identifier identifier


Introduction: Growth retardation is one of the cardinal manifestations of glycogen storage disease type Ia. It is unclear which component of the growth hormone and/or insulin-like growth factor axis is primarily disrupted, and management of growth impairment in these patients remains controversial. Here we report the first case in the literature where glycogen storage disease type Ia is associated with pituitary hypoplasia and growth hormone deficiency. Case presentation: A 20-year-old woman with glycogen storage disease type Ia was admitted to our endocrinology department because of growth retardation. Basal and overnight growth hormone sampling at 2-hour intervals demonstrated low levels; however, provocative testing revealed a relatively normal growth hormone response. A hypoplastic anterior pituitary with preserved growth hormone response to provocative testing suggested the possibility of growth hormone neurosecretory dysfunction and/or primary pituitary involvement. Conclusion: Pituitary hypoplasia may result from growth hormone-releasing hormone deficiency, a condition generally known as growth hormone neurosecretory dysfunction. It is an abnormality with a spontaneous and pulsatile secretion pattern, characterized by short stature, growth retardation and normal serum growth hormone response to provocative testing. However, in the case described in this report, a normal although relatively low growth hormone response during insulin tolerance testing and pituitary hypoplasia suggested that primary pituitary involvement or growth hormone neurosecretory dysfunction may occur in glycogen storage disease type Ia. This is a potential cause of growth failure associated with a lower somatotroph mass, and may explain the variable responsiveness to growth hormone replacement therapy in people with glycogen storage disease. © 2008 Dagdelen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.