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Magnetic Resonance Imaging Features of Pituicytomas: Analysis of 10 Cases

Hammoud, Dima A. MD*; Munter, Fletcher M. MD; Brat, Daniel J. MD, PhD; Pomper, Martin G. MD, PhD§

Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography: September-October 2010 - Volume 34 - Issue 5 - p 757-761
doi: 10.1097/RCT.0b013e3181e289c0

Objective: To describe the magnetic resonance imaging features of pituicytomas and identify any specific features that could differentiate this tumor from other sellar/suprasellar masses.

Methods: Magnetic resonance images, clinical histories, and pathological findings of 10 patients with pituicytoma were retrospectively reviewed. Reports of clinical history, pathology, and magnetic resonance imaging findings were reviewed for 28 additional histologically proven pituicytoma cases, previously reported in the literature.

Results: Pituicytomas were mostly round or oval, sharply defined, and located in the sellar and/or suprasellar region. Tumors were generally isointense to gray matter on T1-weighted images and isointense to slightly hyperintense on T2-weighted images, and they enhanced intensely.

Conclusions: Magnetic resonance imaging features of pituicytomas overlap with those of other, more common lesions that occur in the region. With the exception of a purely suprasellar-enhancing mass or a clearly defined neurohypophyseal mass separate from the anterior pituitary, the similarity to common tumors such as macroadenomas and meningiomas probably precludes effective prospective diagnosis of pituicytomas.

From the *Radiology and Imaging Sciences, National Institutes of Health/Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD; †Department of Radiology, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC; ‡Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; and §Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, MD.

Received for publication February 1, 2010; accepted March 26, 2010.

Reprints: Dima Hammoud, Radiology and Imaging Sciences, National Institutes of Health/Clinical Center, 10 Center Dr, Room 1C336, Bethesda, MD 20892 (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.