[en] Adenoma/diagnosis/secretion ; Adrenocorticotropic Hormone/secretion ; Contrast Media ; Gadolinium/diagnostic use ; Growth Hormone/secretion ; Humans ; Magnetic Resonance Imaging/methods ; Pituitary Neoplasms/diagnosis/secretion ; Predictive Value of Tests ; Prolactinoma/diagnosis ; Sensitivity and Specificity
[en] The usefulness of different magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequences (coronal and sagittal spin-echo [SE] and three-dimensional fast low-angle shot [3D FLASH]) in the detection of pituitary microadenomas before and after gadolinium injection was prospectively evaluated in 28 patients with surgical confirmation. When evaluated separately, the most useful sequences in the detection of these microadenomas were coronal pregadolinium T1-weighted SE, coronal pregadolinium 3D FLASH, coronal postgadolinium T1-weighted SE, and coronal postgadolinium 3D FLASH. The combination of pre- and postgadolinium T1-weighted sequences with pre-and postgadolinium 3D FLASH sequences produced the highest number of true-positive findings (90%) and the lowest number of false-positive findings (5%). When a 1.5-T imaging unit with a high signal-to-noise ratio allowing useful three-dimensional acquisition is used, the authors advocate a coronal T1-weighted SE sequence, followed (if necessary) by a coronal 3D FLASH sequence, both without injection of gadolinium, in the diagnosis of pituitary microadenomas. When no confident diagnosis is reached, the same sequences should be performed after the injection of gadolinium. The sagittal pre- and postgadolinium T1-weighted SE and long-TR SE sequences are useful only in specific cases.