The Utility of Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Assessing Patients with Pituitary Tumors Compressing the Anterior Visual Pathway

Won Hyung A. Ryu, Yves Starreveld, Jodie M. Burton, Junjie Liu, Fiona Costello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Pituitary tumors are one of the most common types of intracranial neoplasms, and can cause progressive visual loss. An ongoing challenge in the management of patients with pituitary tumors is the cost, availability, and reliability of current magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to capture clinically significant incremental tumor growth. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the various MRI-based structural analyses and to explore the relationship between measures of structure and function in the afferent visual pathway of patients with pituitary tumors. Methods: We performed a critical review of literature on MRI-based structural analyses of pituitary adenomas using PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar. In addition, preoperative structural characteristics of the optic apparatus, optic nerve compression, and optic chiasm elevation identified as important in the literature review, were examined in 18 of our patients from October 2010 to January 2014. Results: In our review of literature, a total of 443 citations were obtained from our search strategy and review of bibliographies. Eight of these studies met inclusion/exclusion criteria and were retrieved for critical review. Of the 8 included studies, only 2 studies examined the relationship between MRI-based structural measurements and postoperative visual recovery. In our small case-series, MRI analysis of chiasm elevation, severity of optic nerve compression, chiasm position, height of chiasm, tumor height, and tumor volume failed to differentiate patients with postoperative visual dysfunction vs those with visual recovery (P > 0.05). Conclusions: Although MRI-based structural analysis is an important and useful tool for managing patients with pituitary tumors, there are limited objective measures shown to be predictive of postoperative visual recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-238
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuro-Ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Clinical Neurology


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