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Lower urinary tract function in patients with pituitary adenoma compressing hypothalamus
  1. T Yamamoto1,
  2. R Sakakibara1,
  3. T Uchiyama1,
  4. Z Liu1,
  5. T Ito1,
  6. T Yamanishi2,
  7. T Hattori1
  1. 1Department of Neurology, Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
  2. 2Department of Urology, Dokkyo Medical College, Tochigi, Japan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Ryuji Sakakibara
 Neurology Department, Chiba University, 1–8–1 Inohana Chuo-ku, Chiba 260–8670, Japan;


Background: The micturition reflex is under the tonic influence of suprapontine structures including the anteromedial frontal cortex, basal ganglia, and hypothalamus. However, there have been few reports about the role of the hypothalamus on the lower urinary tract (LUT) function in humans.

Objective: To investigate LUT function in patients with pituitary adenomas.

Methods: Urodynamic studies were carried out in three patients with LUT symptoms who had pituitary adenomas extending upwards to the hypothalamus.

Results: All three male patients (age 28 to 62 years) developed LUT symptoms (urinary urgency and frequency (3); urinary incontinence (3); voiding difficulty and retention (2)) along with weight loss, psychiatric symptoms, unsteady gait, and/or visual disturbances. One had the syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone, but none had diabetes insipidus. Two had resection of the tumour and subsequent radiation therapy, but LUT dysfunction persisted. The third patient had partial resection of the tumour to ameliorate hydrocephalus. Urodynamic studies showed detrusor overactivity during the storage phase in all patients; during the voiding phase there was underactive detrusor in two and non-relaxing sphincter in one.

Conclusions: Hypothalamic lesions can cause severe LUT dysfunction in both the storage and voiding phases of micturition. This may reflect the crucial role of the hypothalamus in regulating micturition in humans.

  • LUT, lower urinary tract
  • PAG, periaqueductal grey matter
  • PMC, pontine micturition centre
  • SIADH, syndrome of inappropriate secretion of antidiuretic hormone
  • hypothalamus
  • pituitary adenoma
  • micturition reflex
  • lower urinary tract dysfunction

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  • Competing interests: none declared