Pituitary tumors

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  • Anterior Lobe (adenohypophysis) - T1 dark, produces ACTH, TSH, GH, prolactin, LH, FSH, endorphin and intermedins
  • Posterior Lobe (neurohypophysis) - T1 bright, stores oxytocin and ADH
  • Pars Intermedia - inbetween anterior and posterior
  • Stalk - connects to hypothalamus


Rathke Cleft Cyst

  • Midline at pars intermedia
  • Variable T1 and T2 signal due to proteinacious material
  • No enhancment


  • Arises from anterior lobe
  • Less than 1 cm is microadenoma, Grearter than 1 cm is macroadenoma
  • May be functional
  • Important to identify invasion of cavernous sinus
  • Macroadenomas have a figure of 8 appearance and can cause bitemporal hemianopsia

Pituitary Apoplexy - Hemorrhage resulting in sudden onset of headache usually associated with visual disturbance


  • Craniopharingioma - suprasellar
  • Meningioma - narrows ICA
  • Sarcoidosis - typically involving the stalk
  • Hypophysitis
  • LCH
  • Metastasis
  • Hypothalamic hamartoma - gelastic seizures
  • Optic glioma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Germinoma

Chapter 4 - Radiology of the Pituitary Jane Evanson, MD, Consultant neuroradiologist Barts and the London NHS trust.