Key words: Pituitary apoplexy
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. The aim of this study was to describe the various MRI features, in correlation to surgical and pathological findings, in patients who presented with pituitary apoplexy (PA). Eleven patients presenting with PA, were evaluated with various MR protocols including spin-echo (SE) T1-weighted sequences in 9 of 11 patients, post gadolinium SE T1-weighted sequences in only 8 of 11 patients, and with T2-weighted SE sequences in 2 of 11 patients. All patients had transsphenoidal pituitary surgery after MR studies. The severity of presenting symptoms ranged from headaches to coma. Ten patients had pituitary macroadenoma; one had a non-hemorrhagic metastatic lesion into a non-adenomatous pituitary gland. Of the 11 patients, one was studied at the acute stage of PA (1 day after onset), 9 at the subacute period (3–15 days after onset), and one at the late stage (5 months after onset). Images compatible with intratumoral hemorrhage were found in all macroadenomas, whereas the metastatic pituitary lesion did not show evidence of bleeding. All gadolinium-enhanced studies showed partial tumoral enhancement. The SE T2-weighted studies demonstrated areas of low and high signal intensities in keeping with the presence of blood degradation contents. Pituitary apoplexy present with different MR features, including hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic characteristics on T1-weighted images. Gadolinium-enhanced images do not provide complementary diagnostic information when the presence of blood is assessed on plain images.
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