Sixteen years post radiotherapy of nasopharyngeal carcinoma elicited multi-dysfunction along PTX and chronic kidney disease with microcytic anemia
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- BMC Urology
DOI 10.1186/1471-2490-14-19
  1. Radiotherapy
  2. Hypopituitarism
  3. Hypothyroidism
  4. Hypogonadism
  5. Adrenal insufficiency
  6. Chronic kidney disease
  7. Microcytic anemia


The hypothalamic–pituitary (h-p) unit is a particularly radiosensitive region in the central nervous system. As a consequence, radiation-induced irreversible, progressively chronic onset hypopituitarism (RIH) commonly develops after radiation treatments and can result in variably impaired pituitary function, which is frequently associated with increased morbidity and mortality.

Case presentation

A 38-year-old male subject, previously having received radiotherapy for treatment of nasopharygeal carcinoma (NPCA) 16 years ago, appeared at OPD complaining about his failure in penile erection, loss of pubic hair, atrophy of external genitalia: testicles reduced to 2×1.5 cm; penile size shrunk to only 4 cm long. Characteristically, he showed extremely lowered human growth hormone, (HGH, 0.115 ng/mL), testosterone (<0.1 ng/mL), total thyroxine (tT4: 4.740 g/mL), free T4 (fT4, 0.410 ng/mL), cortisol (2.34 g/dL); lowered LH (1.37 mIU/mL) and estradiol (22 pg/mL); highly elevated TSH (7.12 IU/mL). As contrast, he had low end normal ACTH, FSH, total T3, free T3, and estriol; high end normal prolactin (11.71 ng/mL), distinctly implicating hypopituitarism-induced hypothyroidism and hypogonadism. serologically, he showed severely lowered Hb (10.6 g/dL), HCT (32.7%), MCV (77.6 fL), MCH (25.3 pg), MCHC (32.6 g/dL), and platelet count (139×103/L) with extraordinarily elevated RDW (18.2%), together with severely lowered ferritin (23.6 ng/mL) and serum iron levels; highly elevated total iron binding capacity (TIBC, 509 g/dL) and transferrin (363.4 mg/dL), suggesting microcytic anemia. Severely reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (e-GFR) (89 mL/mim/1.73 m2) pointed to CKD2. Hypocortisolemia with hyponatremia indicated secondary adrenal insufficiency. Replacement therapy using androgen, cortisol, and Ringer’s solution has shown beneficial in improving life quality.


To our believe, we are the first group who report such complicate PTX dysfunction with adrenal cortisol insufficiency concomitantly occurring in a single patient.