What does this test involve?

Hi there,

Has anyone had their 'anterior pituitary function' tested?

I've got to spend a full morning in hospital on Friday having the test done and it sounds pretty comprehensive! Endo says he will be checking my GnRH, TRH, Short Synacthen.

Does anyone know what kind of diagnoses or indications these tests will be able to yield?

I've been seeing endo after my periods stopped for year without explanation and blood tests revealed below normal Free T3 and lower end of normal T4. I'm 30 and otherwise healthy.

Thanks,

Amalie

7 Replies

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  • The only test I've had is the Short Synacthen which is used to test for adrenal insufficiency which can also be caused by lack of pituitary hormones. The GnRH test is to check if your pituitary is the reason for your periods stopping and the TRH is to check if your pituitary is releasing the hormone needed to regulate the thyroid. I assume your TSH must have been below or low in range which is why with the low T3 and T4 he's thinking there could be a pituitary problem. If the tests are positive you would need to take certain hormones.

    Good luck with the tests,

    Shaz

  • Thanks Shaz. I'm actually in hospital now having the tests. The cortisol injections certainly wake you up don't they! Waiting for the next round then further bloods before I can leave.

    My last TSH test was 2.42mU/L (normal 0.30-3.05).

    Free T3 was 3.5 (normal 4.3-8.1). Free T4 was 12.7 (normal 10-28.2).

    Best,

    Amalie

  • I had the short synacthen test. My only advice would be to take plenty of tissues as I just couldn't stop crying during it. no reason - I just couldn't stop. It's for Cushings or Addisons disease (problems with cortisol).

    Also had insulin stress test (which is apparently next step after "failing" short synacthen). if you have this, make sure you have someone with you to take you home. I was really ill after it, couldn't stand up for dizziness, blinding headache and vomiting - two days off work.

  • Thanks Angel. Poor you, sounds horrible. I'm actually at the hospital having the tests now

  • Yes, had this test done back in 1986. You need to be fasting. They inject insulin and TRH and something to see how your pituitary responds if they suspect this is where the problem is located. For example, if you have a low TSH but low fT4 and low fT3 then the source of the problem is not the thyroid but the hypothalamic-pituitary axis.

    Have you had your prolactin checked? Mine was high but not in orbit.

  • Hi - thanks so much for your reply. I'm actually in hospital now having the tests. The cortisol injections certainly wake you up don't they! Waiting for the next round then further bloods before I can leave.

    My prolactin was normal when last tested.

    Best,

    Amalie

  • Ah, maybe that's why I had an abnormal test. No wakeup feeling, just uncontrollable crying - kicked in after about 10 mins. I felt fine while they were doing the insulin stress test, the bad effects started as soon as I got up to leave.

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