Pituitary gland - Definition

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Definition


The pituitary gland is an endocrine gland located at the base of the skull, and connected to the hypothalamus, another gland. It produces many hormones that stimulate other glands in the body. It is responsible for the secretion of growth hormone and prolactin, but also of hormones affecting the thyroid gland, sex glands, and adrenal glands. If secretions are decreased at the pituitary level, it is called d hypopituitarism. Hypersecretion may also affect, one, several, or all the hormonal channels of the pituitary gland, which is in most cases caused by a benign tumor called an adenoma. Blood tests of various hormones give reason to suspect abnormal secretion. The exploration of the pituitary gland is possible by performing a brain imaging test, or MRI scan.

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