Background: To explore the relationship between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and multiple pituitary-target hormones in patients with panhypopituitarism or multiple pituitary hormone deficiency (MPHD). Methods: 125 patients with MPHD (102 boys, MPHD group) and 90 age-, sex- and Tanner stage-matched normal children (control group) were enrolled. 96 of the patients with MPHD underwent MRI scans of the hypothalamic-pituitary area. The patients were subdivided into five stages according to their MRI findings. The serum concentrations of GH, IGF-1, FT4, TSH, ACTH, cortisol, FSH, LH, prolactin, testosterone and estradiol were measured in patients and in controls. Results: MRI stage was significantly positively correlated with the number of pituitary hormone deficiencies (r = 0.9, p < 0.001). MRI stage was negatively correlated with peak GH, IGF-1, FT4, cortisol and anterior pituitary height (r = –0.43, –0.47, –0.67, –0.54, and –0.49, respectively, p < 0.01). Diabetes insipidus patients could be stratified according to their MRI stage; diabetes insipidus was found mainly in patients with absence of the posterior pituitary bright spot or small ectopic posterior pituitary bright spot on MRI. Conclusion: An abnormal MRI finding is evidence of MPHD and, correspondingly, there is a noteworthy correlation between MRI and pituitary function.

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