Purpose: Pituitary adenomas are common CNS tumors that can cause endocrine dysfunction due to hormone oversecretion and by mass effect on the normal gland. The study of pituitary adenomas and adjacent sellar anatomy with high-resolution 7 T MRI may further characterize endocrine dysfunction. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of 7 T MRI in identifying radiological markers for endocrine function. Methods: MR images obtained in 23 patients with pituitary adenomas were reviewed by consensus between three neuroradiologists. Landmarks and criteria were devised to measure radiological features of stalk, tumor, and normal gland. Fischer’s exact tests and nominal logistic regression were performed. Results: Mean cross-sectional area of the stalk just below the infundibular recess was 6.3 ± 3.7 mm2. Mean curvature and deviation angles were 34.2° ± 23.2° and 29.7° ± 17.3°, respectively. Knosp scores obtained differed between 7 T and lower field strength scans (P < 0.0001 [right] and P = 0.0006 [left]). Ability to characterize tumor was rated higher at 7 T compared with lower field MRI, P = 0.05. Confidence in visualizing normal gland was also higher using 7 T MRI, P = 0.036. The six hormone-secreting tumors had higher corrected T2 mean SI than non-secreting tumors (2.54 vs. − 0.38, P = 0.0196). Seven patients had preoperative hypopituitarism and had significantly greater stalk curvature angles than patients without hypopituitarism (71.7° vs. 36.55°, P = 0.027). Conclusion: Radiological characterization of pituitary adenomas and adjacent native pituitary tissue may benefit with the use of 7 T MRI. Corrected T2 SI of tumor may be a sensitive predictor of hormonal secretion and may be useful in the diagnostic work-up for pituitary adenoma. Summary statement: 7 T MRI may be valuable in identifying markers of endocrine function in patients with pituitary adenomas. Our results indicate that hormone-secreting tumors have higher T2-weighted SI and tumors associated with preoperative hypopituitarism have greater stalk curvature angles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-482
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • Endocrine abnormality
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • Pituitary infundibulum
  • Ultrahigh field MRI


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