Neuroimaging in pineal tumors

J Neuroimaging. 2006 Jan;16(1):52-8. doi: 10.1177/1051228405001514.


Background and purpose: The authors report radiological findings in 11 tumors in the pineal region, which were histologically diagnosed as germinomas, pineocytomas pineoblastomas, ependymomas, teratomas, and astrocytomas.

Methods: Computed tomography (CT) was performed in seven patients and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in all patients.

Results: CT showed a solid or solid/cystic mass with variable contrast enhancement. MRI showed a heterogeneous mass, with hypointense signal on T1 and iso/hyperintense signal on T2-weighted images (WI) and gadolinium enhancement. Extension to adjacent structures occurred in five patients and spread through the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in two.

Conclusions: Pineal region tumors have no pathognomonic imaging pattern. MRI and CT are complementary in diagnosis and are important to determine localization, extension, and meningeal spread.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Astrocytoma / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Ependymoma / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Germinoma / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neuroblastoma / diagnosis
  • Pineal Gland / pathology*
  • Pinealoma / diagnosis*
  • Prognosis
  • Teratoma / diagnosis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed