To assess whether arginine vasopressin and atrial natriuretic hormone participate in impaired urinary dilution and excretion in glucocorticoid deficiency secondary to hypopituitarism. an acute oral water load of 20 ml·kg−1 BW was undertaken in the absence and presence of an oral hydrocortisone (60 mg) treatment in patients with ACTH deficiency (N= 7) and panhypopituitarism (N = 2). Plasma arginine vasopressin and atrial natriuretic hormone and renal water handling were simultaneously determined and compared with those in similarly water-loaded normal subjects. Plasma arginine vasopressin did not fall in response to decreased blood osmolality after an acute water load in the absence of hydrocortisone; plasma atrial natriuretic hormone did not change despite blood volume expansion; and impairment in urinary dilution and excretion remained. On the other hand, in the presence of hydrocortisone, plasma arginine vasopressin fell in response to a decrease in plasma osmolality and plasma atrial natriuretic hormone increased, thereby restoring urinary dilution and excretion. These results demonstrate that the impaired arginine vasopressin response to acute water loading play an essential role in deranged renal water and electrolyte handling in the state of glucocorticoid deficiency; the impaired release of atrial natriuretic hormone also may affect these disorders.