Hyperpituitarism

  1. General information
    1. Hyperfunction of the anterior pituitary gland resulting in oversecretion of one or more of the anterior pituitary hormones
    2. Overproduction of the growth hormone produces acromegaly in adults and gigantism in children (if hypersecretion occurs before epiphyseal closure); see Hyperpituitarim (Gigantism), in Unit 5.
    3. Usually caused by a benign pituitary adenoma
  2. Medical management: surgical removal or irradiation of the gland
  3. Assessment findings
    1. Tumor: bitemporal hemianopia; headache
    2. Hormonal disturbances depending on which hormones are being excreted in excess
    3. Acromegaly caused by oversecretion of growth hormones: transverse enlargement of bones, especially noticeable in skull and in bones of hands and feet; features become coarse and heavy; lips become heavier; tongue enlarged
    4. Diagnostic tests
      1. Skull x-ray, CT scan reveal pituitary tumor
      2. Plasma hormone levels reveal increased growth hormone, oversecretion of other hormones
  4. Nursing interventions
    1. Monitor for hyperglycemia and cardiovascular problems (hypertension, angina, CHF) and modify care accordingly.
    2. Provide psychologic support and acceptance for alterations in body image.
    3. Provide care for the client undergoing hypophysectomy or radiation therapy if indicated.

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