Elster's rule (pituitary gland)

Last revised by Dr Francis Deng on 26 Jul 2021

Elster's rule provides a guide to the expected approximate pituitary gland height in relation to age 1. The rule follows an even-numbered pattern of 6, 8, 10, and 12 1:

  • 6 mm pituitary gland height in infants and children
  • 8 mm pituitary gland height in men and postmenopausal women
  • 10 mm pituitary gland height in women of childbearing age
  • 12 mm pituitary gland height in women in late pregnancy or in postpartum women

Some studies of pituitary height on MRIs in various healthy populations have had various results not necessarily in agreement with this rule 2,3.

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