Key messages

• Prolactin subserves several physiological functions including effects on the immune system. Hypoprolactinemia is associated with immune suppression.

• Growth hormone deficiency induces protein hypercatabolism, deficient lipolysis, and altered carbohydrate metabolism, a metabolic dysfunction associated with reduced lean body mass and bone mineral density as well as impaired peripheral muscle and myocardial function.

• Acute corticotropin deficiency induces an Addisonian-like crisis characterized by electrolyte abnormalities, which are usually mild, and shock. The latter is unresponsive to vasopressor therapy until glucocorticoids are replaced.

• Thyrotropin deficiency induces central hypothyroidism, characterized by adverse effects on all tissues and organ systems including abnormal systolic and diastolic myocardial function, renal and central nervous system dysfunction, disturbances of water and sodium handling and of lipid and glucose metabolism, malabsorption syndrome, and biliary dysfunction.

• Gonadotropin deficiency induces secondary hypogonadism, characterized in men by reduced circulating androgen levels associated with protein hypercatabolism.

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