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Yuval Grober, Hagit Grober, Max Wintermark, John A. Jane Jr. and Edward H. Oldfield


Many centers use conventional and dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI (DMRI) sequences in patients with Cushing's disease. The authors assessed the utility of the 3D volumetric interpolated breath-hold examination, a spoiled-gradient echo 3D T1 sequence (SGE) characterized by superior soft tissue contrast and improved resolution, compared with DMRI and conventional MRI (CMRI) for detecting microadenomas in patients with Cushing's disease.


This study was a blinded assessment of pituitary MRI in patients with proven Cushing's disease. Fifty-seven patients who had undergone surgery for Cushing's disease (10 male, 47 female; age range 13–69 years), whose surgical findings were considered to represent a microadenoma, and who had been examined with all 3 imaging techniques were included. Thus, selection emphasized patients with prior negative or equivocal MRI on referral. The MRI annotations were anonymized and 4 separate imaging sets were independently read by 3 blinded, experienced clinicians: a neuroradiologist and 2 pituitary surgeons.


Forty-eight surgical specimens contained an adenoma (46 ACTH-staining adenomas, 1 prolactinoma, and 1 nonfunctioning microadenoma). DMRI detected 5 adenomas that were not evident on CMRI, SGE detected 8 adenomas not evident on CMRI, including 3 that were not evident on DMRI. One adenoma was detected on DMRI that was not detected on SGE. McNemar's test for efficacy between the different MRI sets for tumor detection showed that the addition of SGE to CMRI increased the number of tumors detected from 18 to 26 (p = 0.02) based on agreement of at least 2 of 3 readers.


SGE shows higher sensitivity than DMRI for detecting and localizing pituitary microadenomas, although rarely an adenoma is detected exclusively by DMRI. SGE should be part of the standard MRI protocol for patients with Cushing's disease.

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Robert Dallapiazza, Aaron E. Bond, Yuval Grober, Robert G. Louis, Spencer C. Payne, Edward H. Oldfield and John A. Jane Jr.


The object of this study was to compare surgical outcomes and complications in a contemporaneous series of patients undergoing either microscopic or endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery for nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas without imaging evidence of cavernous sinus invasion.


This is a retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database from a single institution. Data were collected from patients whose surgery had occurred in the period from June 2010 to January 2013. Patients who underwent microscopic or endoscopic surgery for Knosp Grade 0, 1, or 2 nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas were included in the study. Patients who had clinically secreting or Knosp Grade 3 or 4 tumors and patients who were undergoing revision surgery were excluded from analysis. Eligible patient records were analyzed for outcomes and complications. Statistical analyses were performed on tumor volume, intraoperative factors, postoperative complications, and degree of resection on 1-year postoperative MRI. The results were used to compare the outcomes after microscopic and endoscopic approaches.


Forty-three patients underwent microscopic transsphenoidal surgery, and 56 underwent endoscopic transsphenoidal surgery. There were no statistical differences in the intraoperative extent of resection or endocrinological complications. There were significantly more intraoperative CSF leaks in the endoscopic group (58% vs 16%); however, there was no difference in the incidence of postoperative CSF rhinorrhea (12% microscopic vs 7% endoscopic). Length of hospitalization was significantly shorter in patients undergoing an endoscopic approach (3.0 days vs 2.4 days). Two-month follow-up imaging was available in 95% of patients, and 75% of patients had 1-year follow-up imaging. At 2 months postprocedure, there was no evidence of residual tumor in 79% (31 of 39) and 85% (47 of 55) of patients in the microscopic and endoscopic groups, respectively. At 1 year postprocedure, 83% (25 of 30) of patients in the microscopic group had no evidence of residual tumor and 82% (36 of 44) of those in the endoscopic group had no evidence of residual tumor.


The microscopic and endoscopic techniques provide similar outcomes in the surgical treatment of Knosp Grades 0–2 nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenomas.