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Pituitary gland

This is the controller of the hormonal (endocrine) glands in the body such as the thyroid, adrenal gland and the testes/ovaries. The pituitary gland is situated in a bony recess in the skull base just below the optic nerves as these pass backwards from the orbits (the bony chambers that house the eyes).

Benign adenomas arise from the pituitary gland. Sometimes these over-secrete the hormones that control the endocrine glands in the body. Thus, prolactinoma patients present with amenorrhoea (absent menses) or discharge from nipples, whereas acromegaly patients whose adenomas oersecrete growth hormone present with overgrowth of hands, feet, etc. Many pituitary adenomas do not oversecrete any hormone and present when the tumour grows up to interfere with the visual pathways.

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