Etymology: L, prae, + pubertas, maturity; Gk, pan, all, hypo, under, pituita, phlegm
insufficiency of pituitary hormones, caused by damage to the gland usually associated with a suprasellar cyst or craniopharyngioma occurring in childhood. The disorder is characterized by dwarfism with normal body proportions; subnormal sexual development; impaired thyroid and adrenal function; and yellow, wrinkled skin. Diabetes insipidus is frequently present, and there may be bitemporal hemianopia or complete blindness, but the patient's mentality is usually normal. Radiographic pictures show delayed fusion of the epiphyses and suprasellar calcification, and the sella turcica is often destroyed. The condition is treated with cortisone, thyroid and gonadotrophic hormones, and, if available, human growth hormone.