New imaging techniques in endocrinology: Magnetic resonance of the pituitary gland and sella turcica

G. Scotti, F. Triulzi, G. Chiumello, B. Dinatale

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MR has not only produced a great improvement in the diagnosis of pituitary and hypothalamic pathologies, but has also opened new lines of research as a result of unexpected morphological and functional findings. MR has already led to two discoveries in the field of paediatric endocrinology. First, a previously undetected abnormality of the pituitary gland and stalk has been demonstrated in many patients with idiopathic growth hormone deficiency (IGHD); in these patients, the adenohypophysis and neurohypophysis are not fused, and the usual hyperintensity of the neurohypophysis is in a more cranial ectopic position, as if it could not descend within the sella turcica. The second discovery has been that the bright signal of the neurohypophysis is absent in patients with diabetes insipidus. This observation, which is not associated with major morphological changes, reflects the metabolic abnormality in ADH secretion and appears to be a very reliable sign for diagnosing central diabetes insipidus. Further research is required and this may include study of experimental animal models using very high-field, small-bore magnets. In addition, more extensive clinical studies are required to correlate MR findings with clinical and endocrinological syndromes, and chromosomal and genetic studies may also be worthwhile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-14
Number of pages10
JournalActa Paediatrica Scandinavica, Supplement
Issue number356
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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