USMLE Step 1 Neuroanatomy Review 26 09 Pituitary Gland

USMLE Step 1 Neuroanatomy Review 26 09 Pituitary Gland


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Let’s start our USMLE Review with Anatomy from the Gold Standard USMLE Step 1 Audio Review program.

Play USMLE Audio MP3 26 09 Pituitary Gland Below

Begin 26 09 Pituitary Gland Transcription

Alright, moving on to section 7, the pituitary gland, please refer to figure 7.1. The pituitary gland, or the hypophysis, is attached to which brain structure?

  • To the hypothalamus.

The pituitary gland is involved in the regulation of what body system?

  • The endocrine system.

It is composed of how many lobes?

  • Two.

Student doctor, what are the names of the two lobes of the pituitary gland or the hypophysis?

  • Give the two names in terms of the pituitary first. There is the anterior pituitary and the posterior pituitary.

What is the other name for the anterior pituitary?

  • The adenohypophysis.

And the other name for the posterior pituitary?

  • The neurohypophysis.

What is a memory key to keeping these two pairs straight?

  • Simply, adenohypophysis and anterior pituitary both begin with ‘a’.

Which of the two lobes of course, is intimately connected to the hypothalamus?

  • Give both names. The posterior pituitary or neurohypophysis.

What two compounds are secreted by the neurohypophysis of posterior pituitary?

  • Vasopressin and oxytocin.

How many compounds are secreted by the adenohypophysis or anterior pituitary?

  • There are six.

Let’s take them in alphabetical order. First ACTH, second, FSH, third, GH, fourth, LH, fifth, MSH, and sixth, TSH.

What is the abbreviation ACTH stands for?

  • Adrenocorticotropic hormone.

And what does FSH stand for?

  • Follicle stimulating hormone

And what does GH stand for?

  • Growth hormone

And LH?

  • Luteinizing hormone


  • Melanocyte stimulating hormone

And TSH?

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone

Now tumors that arise from the pituitary, most likely pituitary adenomas can exert pressure on the hypothalamus. Now this can of course result in many symptoms including what syndrome?

  • The hypothalamic syndrome.

Pituitary adenomas can also exert pressure on what optic channel?

  • The optic chiasm.

When a pituitary adenoma exerts pressure on the optic chiasm, what symptoms result?

  • Bitemporal hemianopia.


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