DIAGNOSTIC NEURORADIOLOGY

Neuroradiology

, Volume 39, Issue 7, pp 499-503

First online:

MRI of pituitary abscess: two cases and review of the literature

  • L. J. WolanskyAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology; UH C-320, New Jersey Medical School; UMDNJ, 150 Bergen St., Newark, NJ 07103, USA Tel.: (2 01) 9 82-51 49 FAX: (2 01) 9 82-74 29
  • , J. D. GallagherAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology; UH C-320, New Jersey Medical School; UMDNJ, 150 Bergen St., Newark, NJ 07103, USA Tel.: (2 01) 9 82-51 49 FAX: (2 01) 9 82-74 29
  • , R. F. HearyAffiliated withNeurological Surgery, New Jersey Medical School, UMDNJ, Newark, New Jersey, USA
  • , G. P. MalanticAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology; UH C-320, New Jersey Medical School; UMDNJ, 150 Bergen St., Newark, NJ 07103, USA Tel.: (2 01) 9 82-51 49 FAX: (2 01) 9 82-74 29
  • , A. DasmahapatraAffiliated withSection of Endocrinology, New Jersey Medical School, UMDNJ, Newark, New Jersey, USA
  • , P. D. ShaderowfskyAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology; UH C-320, New Jersey Medical School; UMDNJ, 150 Bergen St., Newark, NJ 07103, USA Tel.: (2 01) 9 82-51 49 FAX: (2 01) 9 82-74 29
  • , N. BudhwaniAffiliated withDepartment of Radiology; UH C-320, New Jersey Medical School; UMDNJ, 150 Bergen St., Newark, NJ 07103, USA Tel.: (2 01) 9 82-51 49 FAX: (2 01) 9 82-74 29

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Abstract

Pituitary abscesses, rare lesions, may be divided into primary and secondary types. Primary pituitary abscesses occur within a previously healthy gland, while secondary abscesses arise within an existing lesion, such as an adenoma, craniopharyngioma, or Rathke's cleft cyst. Secondary abscesses share radiologic characteristics with the lesions from which they arise. There has been no review of the MRI characteristics of primary pituitary abscesses. We report two cases and review the literature. The typical primary pituitary abscess gives the same or slightly lower signal than brain on T1-weighted images, and could be mistaken for a solid mass or presumed to represent a pituitary adenoma. Contrast-enhanced images are useful, demonstrating absence of central enhancement, suggesting a fluid or necrotic center. In one of our cases, meningeal enhancement was obvious; this has not been reported previously and may be diagnostic, when associated with a rim-enhancing pituitary mass.

Key words Pituitary gland infection abscess Magnetic resonance imaging