Magnetic resonance imaging of neurohypophyseal germinomas

Cancer. 1991 Sep 1;68(5):1009-14. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19910901)68:5<1009::aid-cncr2820680517>;2-r.


The authors reviewed magnetic resonance (MR) images in seven cases of germinoma in the hypothalamoneurohypophyseal axis (HNA). The intrasellar portions were clearly identified in six germinomas. Two small germinomas of these six were located only in the neurohypophysis. The major parts of the four large germinomas were located below the optic chiasm, and the large intrasellar portions were demonstrated. The remaining one small germinoma was localized from the pituitary stalk to the third ventricular floor. These findings strongly suggest that the primary site of germinomas in the HNA is the neurohypophysis. In the four large germinomas, the tumor shape was similar to that of pituitary adenoma. The authors believe that age (limited to first three decades), symptoms (diabetes insipidus), MR findings (absence of normal hyperintense signal of the posterior pituitary on T1-weighted (T1WI) images, and homogeneous hypointensity to the pons on T1WI images/isointensity on T2-weighted images are important in differential diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Dysgerminoma / diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pituitary Gland, Posterior
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / diagnosis*