E1131. Imaging of the Pituitary Gland: A Case-Based Review
  1. Carlos Leiva-Salinas; University of Missouri
  2. Josep Puig; Hospital Josep Trueta
  3. Ayman Nada; University of Missouri
  4. Lucia Flors; University of Southern California
The pituitary gland is a complex neuroendocrine organ involved in the control of a variety of homeostatic mechanisms. Despite its small size, it can be the site of a large number of potential lesions including tumors, inflammatory conditions, and vascular anomalies. High-quality dedicated MRI is able to identify findings that are characteristics to some of the above disorders.

Educational Goals / Teaching Points
1. Describe a systematic approach to the evaluation of the pituitary region 2. Recognize the wide spectrum of tumors, inflammatory processes and vascular lesions that may affect the pituitary gland. 3. Based on cases with pathologic correlation/confirmation, discuss the MR imaging features of the above disorders and propose an approach to help reach an accurate diagnosis

Key Anatomic/Physiologic Issues and Imaging Findings/Techniques
1. The pituitary gland is a complex neuroendocrine organ involved in the control of a variety of mechanisms. 2. It is surrounded by many relevant and complex anatomic structures. 3. A large number of potential lesions may affect the pituitary, including tumors (adenomas, metastasis cysts, and craniopharyngiomas), inflammatory processes (hypophysitis, infections), and vascular lesions (apoplexy, infarction). 4. High quality dedicated MR imaging can identify subtle findings that can narrow the differential diagnosis or identify a specific condition.

Knowledge of the anatomy of the pituitary region and the typical imaging features of the various disorders that can affect the pituitary is crucial to help narrow the differential diagnosis, suggest a definite diagnosis, and provide relevant information to serve for surgical planning.