Imaging of invasiveness of pituitary adenomas.

C. B. Luo*, M. M. Teng, S. S. Chen, J. F. Lirng, F. C. Chang, W. Y. Guo, C. Y. Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The purpose of our study was to examine the tumor size, imaging invasiveness of the pituitary macroadenomas (PMA) and to evaluate the directions of PMA spread. One hundred and thirty-five patients with PMA were examined with MRI and/or CT for pre-operative evaluation. We retrospectively reviewed the CT and MRI to identify tumor size, extension and to evaluate the directions of tumor spread. One hundred and seventeen patients (87%) had suprasellar extension with compression of optic apparatuses, twelve patients (9%) had extension of tumor upward to hypothalamus and third ventricle. Infrasellar extension via the floor of the sella and sphenoid sinus was found in thirty-eight patients (28%), and further downward extension to ethmoid sinus, nasopharynx and/or skull base was depicted in five patients (4%). Twenty-two patients (16%) had lateral invasion to the cavernous sinus and associated cranial nerves. Temporal and frontal extensions were depicted in seven patients (5%) and six patients (4%), respectively. Five patients (4%) had posterior subtentorial extension to posterior fossa. Histologically, only two patients showed microscopic invasive features. There was no correlation between histologic features and imaging invasiveness. The PMA had the potential of multi-directional extension. This experience indicated any type of pituitary adenoma could invade surrounding structures. Suprasellar invasion was the most common direction of pituitary adenoma spread, followed by infrasellar, lateral, anterior and posterior routes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalThe Kaohsiung journal of medical sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


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