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Pituitary Disorder Tests to Ask For

If you have a pituitary disorder, it might be years before a doctor diagnoses it. Some reasons are:

  • Pituitary disorders are not very common
  • Symptoms of a pituitary disorder can look like many other diseases

You might suspect you have a pituitary disorder after searching the Internet, reading articles and books and talking with other people.

If you think you have a pituitary disorder, ask your doctor to do these tests. If the doctor does not do them, ask him or her to explain why.

Tests for Pituitary Disorders and Tumors

Hormones to check:

  • Prolactin
  • 8 a.m. serum cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) (or cortrosyn stimulation test)
  • Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and free T4
  • Luteinizing hormone (LH) and Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
  • Testosterone (men), estradiol ( women)
  • IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1)
  • Salivary cortisol, 24-hour urine free cortisol (if you think you may have Cushing
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the head, with and without gadolinium (contrast dye)

At the OHSU Northwest Pituitary Center, our experts can help interpret the results of these tests. We at the OHSU NW Pituitary Center are available to aid in the interpretation of these tests in the appropriate clinical context.