Pituitary adenomas and normal pituitary tissue: enhancement patterns on gadopentetate-enhanced MR imaging

Radiology. 1990 Oct;177(1):35-8. doi: 10.1148/radiology.177.1.2399335.


A dynamic study of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging was used to obtain successive heavily T1-weighted coronal images (spin-echo [SE] 100/15 [repetition time msec/echo time msec]) of normal pituitary glands and pituitary adenoma immediately after patients were given an intravenous bolus injection of gadopentetate dimeglumine. The images were obtained every minute for 5-8 minutes at 1.5 T. Usual T1-weighted images (SE 600/15) were also obtained before and after the dynamic study was performed. The study group consisted of 18 patients, 10 with normal pituitary glands, and eight with pituitary adenoma. Normal pituitary glands showed maximum enhancement on the first or second image following the administration of gadopentetate dimeglumine, followed by gradual signal reduction through the later images, whereas pituitary adenomas reached a peak of enhancement later and showed slower signal reduction than normal pituitaries. The difference of enhancement patterns between the normal pituitary gland and the pituitary adenoma produced prominent image contrast on the first or second image after administration of gadopentetate dimeglumine, which improved the visualization of one microadenoma and four normal pituitary glands that had been displaced by large adenomas. Dynamic MR imaging is a useful diagnostic procedure not only for detection of microadenomas, but also for visualization of pituitary glands that have been displaced by large pituitary adenomas.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / diagnosis*
  • Adult
  • Contrast Media
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Gadolinium DTPA
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Meglumine*
  • Middle Aged
  • Organometallic Compounds*
  • Pentetic Acid*
  • Pituitary Gland / anatomy & histology*
  • Pituitary Gland / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Sorbitol / analogs & derivatives*


  • Contrast Media
  • Drug Combinations
  • Organometallic Compounds
  • Sorbitol
  • Meglumine
  • Pentetic Acid
  • Gadolinium DTPA