Located in an area sometimes referred to as the “zone of vulnerability,” it serves as the location of the fulcrum of the head and neck that absorbs the brunt of force in most acceleration/deceleration injuries. Injury to the pituitary gland can cause a variety of symptoms including fatigue and/or weakness, as well as headache and dizziness. The most common form of traumatically induced injury to the pituitary is growth hormone deficiency (GHD). Along with fatigue and weakness, hypothyroidism from pituitary dysfunction can also result in depression, reduced cognitive function, and decreased libido for both genders, as well as menstrual irregularities. The condition can be a direct result of blunt trauma to the pituitary, as well as hemorrhage, edema, shear injuries, and compromised blood flow and neuroinflammation.
Unless specifically ordered, the insulin tolerance test (ITT) is not administered. The ITT involves an injection of insulin, followed by several interval-based blood glucose measurements. The ITT is the gold standard for assessing growth hormone deficiency. It may also hold the key to diagnosis following head injury.
For more on injury to the pituitary gland in traumatic brain injury; see Hacioglu A, Kelestimur F, Tanriverdi F., “Pituitary dysfunction due to sports-related traumatic brain injury”, Pituitary, 2019 Jan 14. (abstract only but the complete article in possession of author).