• 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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