Hypothalamitis and pituitary atrophy.

Sabrina Chiloiro, Tommaso Tartaglione, Antonella Giampietro, Antonio Bianchi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Hypothalamitis is a rare inflammatory disorder involving the hypothalamus and classified as primary, or isolated, and secondary hypothalamitis. Secondary hypothalamitis although very rare is more common than the primary one and may occur in patients affected by autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune hypophysitis, systemic autoimmune diseases, infective diseases in patients affected by immune-deficit, paraneoplastic encephalitis, or in patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors. In accordance with the rarity of this disease, diagnosis and management of hypothalamitis prove to be challenging. The diagnosis requires a high index of clinical suspicion. The main symptoms may be: various degrees of hypopituitarism, neuropsychiatric and behavioral disorders, and disturbances of autonomic and metabolic regulation. Magnetic resonance images play a crucial role in the diagnosis of hypothalamitis and in the exclusion of a neoplastic lesion. Therapeutic management should be oriented according to the disease etiology. In most cases, after ruling out infective hypothalamitis, the mainstay of therapy consists of immunosuppressive treatment. Great attention should be paid to hormonal replacement therapy, if partial or total hypopituitarism is present, in particular in patients affected by diabetes insipidus, central hypoadrenalism and hypothyroidism. According to the complexity of this disease, a multidisciplinary approach is strongly advocated to reach an early diagnosis and an integrated therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe human hypothalamus: neuroendocrine disorders
EditorsD, Swassb, R, Buijs, P, Lucassen, A, Salehi, F. Kreier
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Hypophysitis


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