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Updated: Jun 11 2019

Posterior Pituitary

  • Overview
  • Introduction
    • Function
      • to secrete oxytocin and vasopressin into systemic circulation
        • recall that the posterior pituitary (or neurohypophysis) have their neuronal cell bodies in the hypothalamus
    • Anatomy
      • embryology
        • derived from an evagination of the floor of the forming ventricular system
      • the pituitary gland resides within the sella turcica
        • underneath the sella turcica is the sphenoid sinus allowing
          • a transphenoidal surgical approach to access the pituitary fossa
        • the pituitary fossa is laterally bounded by the cavernous sinus
      • the pituitary gland lies inferiorly to the optic chiasm
        • pituitary tumors compressing the optic chiasm results in a
          • bitemporal hemianopia
    • Clinical correlate
      • central diabetes insipidus
        • secondary to vasopressin (ADH) deficiency and can result from
          • neurosurgery
          • head trauma
          • malignancy affecting the pituitary-hypothalamic region
      • syndrome of inappropriate ADH
        • secondary to ADH excess and can results from
          • meningitis
          • head trauma
          • pulmonary disorders (e.g., pneumonia and small cell lung cancer)
          • medication side effects (e.g., selective-serotonin reuptake inhibitors, carbamazepine, and cyclophosphamide)
          • ADH-secreting tumors
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