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Dynamic Tests in Pituitary Endocrinology: Pitfalls in Interpretation during Aging

Authors
  • Caputo, Marina
  • Mele, Chiara
  • Ferrero, Alice
  • Leone, Ilaria
  • Daffara, Tommaso
  • Marzullo, Paolo
  • Prodam, Flavia
  • Aimaretti, Gianluca
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neuroendocrinology
Publisher
S. Karger AG
Publication Date
Jan 15, 2021
Volume
112
Issue
1
Pages
1–14
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1159/000514434
PMID: 33454712
Source
Karger
Keywords
Disciplines
  • At the Cutting Edge
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Aging and age-related diseases represent hot topics of current research. Progressive damage in morphology and function of cells and tissue characterizes the normal process of aging that is influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. The ability of each individual to adapt to these stressors defines the type of aging and the onset of age-related diseases (i.e., metabolic syndrome, inflammatory disorders, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases). The endocrine system plays a critical role in this process because of its complex relationships with brain, immune system, and skeletal muscle; thus, alterations in hormonal networks occur during aging to maintain homeostasis, with consequent under- or overactivity of specific hypothalamic-pituitary-peripheral hormone axes. On the other hand, the increase in life expectancy has led to increasing incidence of age-related diseases, including endocrine disorders, which may prompt assessment of endocrine function in aging individuals. In this context, there is growing awareness that natural changes of endocrine physiology and physiopathology occurring with increasing age may necessitate age-driven diagnostic cutoffs requiring validation in the elderly. This review aims to analyze the available literature on the hormone response to the most important dynamic tests currently used in the clinical practice for the screening of anterior pituitary-related diseases to underline pitfalls in interpretation during aging.

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