Show Summary Details
Page of

Disorders of the posterior pituitary gland 

Disorders of the posterior pituitary gland
Disorders of the posterior pituitary gland

Niki Karavitaki

, Shahzada K. Ahmed

, and John A.H. Wass

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

The posterior pituitary produces arginine vasopressin, which has a key role in fluid homeostasis, and oxytocin, which stimulates uterine contraction during birth and ejection of milk during lactation. Cranial diabetes insipidus is the passage of large volumes of dilute urine due to vasopressin deficient synthesis and/or release. The most common cause is lesions of the neurohypophysis or the hypothalamic median eminence damaging the magnocellular neurons. MRI of the neurohypophysis is required to delineate the cause. Mild polyuria can be managed simply by ensuring adequate fluid intake; treatment with the long-acting vasopressin analogue, desmopressin is used for more severe cases. The syndrome of inappropriate antidiuresis is diagnosed when there is hyponatraemia with hypotonic plasma, inappropriate urine osmolality, and urinary sodium more than 20 mmol/litre, together with no evidence of volume overload or hypovolaemia, and normal renal, adrenal, and thyroid function.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.