The aim of this study was to correlate the magnetic resonance (MR) imaging findings in pituitary apoplexy with histopathological results and determine whether the histopathology influences clinical presentation and outcome.
The records of 36 patients with histologically confirmed pituitary apoplexy, who were treated surgically at the University of Virginia Health System between 1996 and 2006, were retrospectively reviewed. The MR images were divided into 3 groups: 1) infarction alone; 2) hemorrhage with or without infarction; and 3) tumor only with no evidence of apoplexy. The histological examination was divided into infarction alone or hemorrhagic infarction/hemorrhage. The MR imaging findings were then correlated with the histopathological results to assess how accurately the histopathology was predicted by the MR imaging. The clinical features and outcomes of the two histopathological groups were also compared.
The MR imaging findings were able to predict the histopathology accurately in the majority of cases. The group of patients with infarction had less severe clinical features and a better outcome than those with hemorrhagic infarction/hemorrhage.
Magnetic resonance imaging findings in the setting of pituitary apoplexy accurately predict the nature of the apoplectic process and help to guide the type and timing of therapy.