Patients who are suspected of having a nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma should ideally have a high-resolution MRI study directed toward the pituitary gland. An MRI provides the best assessment of tumor size, location, extent, and relationship to important surrounding structures and is essential for the neurosurgeon to adequately plan surgery and to monitor treatment. A general brain MRI is often inadequate to image the pituitary region, and a specific pituitary MRI done with a magnet of adequate strength is optimal.
If an MRI is not available, a computed tomography (CT) study directed at the pituitary region may be done. Fine-cut reconstruction or coronal CT can give good enough image quality to make many clinical decisions.
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