Normal dimensions of the posterior pituitary bright spot on magnetic resonance imaging: Clinical article

Update item information
Publication Type pre-print
School or College School of Medicine
Department Neurosurgery
Creator Couldwell, William T.
Other Author Côté, Martin; Salzman, Karen L.; Sorour, Mohammad
Title Normal dimensions of the posterior pituitary bright spot on magnetic resonance imaging: Clinical article
Date 2014-01-01
Description Object. The normal pituitary bright spot seen on unenhanced T1-weighted MRI is thought to result from the T1-shortening effect of the vasopressin stored in the posterior pituitary. Individual variations in its size may be difficult to differentiate from pathological conditions resulting in either absence of the pituitary bright spot or in T1-hyperintense lesions of the sella. The objective of this paper was to define a range of normal dimensions of the pituitary bright spot and to illustrate some of the most commonly encountered pathologies that result in absence or enlargement of the pituitary bright spot. Methods. The authors selected normal pituitary MRI studies from 106 patients with no pituitary abnormality. The size of each pituitary bright spot was measured in the longest axis and in the dimension perpendicular to this axis to describe the typical dimensions. The authors also present cases of patients with pituitary abnormalities to highlight the differences and potential overlap between normal and pathological pituitary imaging. Results. All of the studies evaluated were found to have pituitary bright spots, and the mean dimensions were 4.8 mm in the long axis and 2.4 mm in the short axis. The dimension of the pituitary bright spot in the long axis decreased with patient age. The distribution of dimensions of the pituitary bright spot was normal, indicating that 99.7% of patients should have a pituitary bright spot measuring between 1.2 and 8.5 mm in its long axis and between 0.4 and 4.4 mm in its short axis, an interval corresponding to 3 standard deviations below and above the mean. In cases where the dimension of the pituitary bright spot is outside this range, pathological conditions should be considered. Conclusions. The pituitary bright spot should always be demonstrated on T1-weighted MRI, and its dimensions should be within the identified normal range in most patients. Outside of this range, pathological conditions affecting the pituitary bright spot should be considered.
Type Text
Publisher American Association of Neurological Surgeons
Volume 120
Issue 2
First Page 357
Last Page 362
Language eng
Bibliographic Citation Côté, M., Salzman, K. L., Sorour, M., & Couldwell, W. T. (2014). Normal dimensions of the posterior pituitary bright spot on magnetic resonance imaging: Clinical article. Journal of Neurosurgery, 120(2), 357-62.
Rights Management (c) American Association of Neurological Surgeons ; DOI: 10.3171/2013.11.JNS131320.
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 2,215,420 bytes
Identifier uspace,18478
ARK ark:/87278/s67119hv
Setname ir_uspace
Date Created 2014-04-07
Date Modified 2014-04-08
ID 712127
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s67119hv
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