Late Effects of Parasellar Lesion Treatment: Hypogonadism and Infertility
Sbardella E., Minnetti M., Pofi R., Cozzolino A., Greco E., Gianfrilli D., Isidori AM.
Central hypogonadism, also defined as hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, is a recognized complication of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis damage following treatment of sellar and parasellar masses. In addition to radiotherapy and surgery, CTLA4-blocking antibodies and alkylating agents such as temozolomide can also lead to hypogonadism, through different mechanisms. Central hypogonadism in boys and girls may lead to pubertal delay or arrest, impairing full development of the genitalia and secondary sexual characteristics. Alternatively, cranial irradiation or ectopic hormone production may instead cause early puberty, affecting hypothalamic control of the gonadostat. Given the reproductive risks, discussion of fertility preservation options and referral to reproductive specialists before treatment is essential. Steroid hormone replacement can interfere with other replacement therapies and may require specific dose adjustments. Adequate gonadotropin stimulation therapy may enable patients to restore gametogenesis and conceive spontaneously. When assisted reproductive technology is needed, protocols must be tailored to account for possible long-term gonadotropin insufficiency prior to stimulation. The aim of this review was to provide an overview of the risk factors for hypogonadism and infertility in patients treated for parasellar lesions and to give a summary of the current recommendations for management and follow-up of these dysfunctions in such patients. We have also briefly summarized evidence on the physiological role of pituitary hormones during pregnancy, focusing on the management of pituitary deficiencies.