Role of MRI T2-DRIVE in the assessment of pituitary stalk abnormalities without gadolinium in pituitary diseases

E. Lisabetta Godano, Giovanni Morana, Natascia Di Iorgi, Angela Pistorio, Anna Elsa Maria Allegri, Flavia Napoli, Roberto Gastaldi, Annalisa Calcagno, Giuseppa Patti, Annalisa Gallizia, Sara Notarnicola, Marta Giaccardi, Serena Noli, Mariasavina Severino, Domenico Tortora, Andrea Rossi, Mohamad Maghnie

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Objective: To investigate the role of T2-DRIVE MRI sequence in the accurate measurement of pituitary stalk (PS) size and the identification of PS abnormalities in patients with hypothalamic-pituitary disorders without the use of gadolinium. Design: This was a retrospective study conducted on 242 patients who underwent MRI due to pituitary dysfunction between 2006 and 2015. Among 135 eligible patients, 102 showed eutopic posterior pituitary (PP) gland and 33 showed 'ectopic' PP (EPP). Methods: Two readers independently measured the size of PS in patients with eutopic PP at the proximal, midpoint and distal levels on pre-and post-contrast T1-weighted as well as T2-DRIVE images; PS visibility was assessed on pre-contrast T1 and T2-DRIVE sequences in those with EPP. The length, height, width and volume of the anterior pituitary (AP), PP height and length and PP area were analyzed. Results: Significant agreement between the two readers was obtained for T2-DRIVE PS measurements in patients with 'eutopic' PP; a significant difference was demonstrated between the intraclass correlation coefficient calculated on the T2-DRIVE and the T1-pre-and post-contrast sequences. The percentage of PS identified by T2-DRIVE in EPP patients was 72.7% compared to 30.3% of T1 pre-contrast sequences. A significant association was found between the visibility of PS on T2-DRIVE and the height of AP. Conclusion: T2-DRIVE sequence is extremely precise and reliable for the evaluation of PS size and the recognition of PS abnormalities; the use of gadolinium-based contrast media does not add significant information and may thus be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-622
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

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