Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

CT abnormalities of the pituitary in hyperprolactinaemic women with normal or equivocal sellae radiologically.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 16 October 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:1078
  1. R T Jung,
  2. M C White,
  3. N B Bowley,
  4. G Bydder,
  5. K Mashiter,
  6. G F Joplin


    Sixteen young women with hyperprolactinaemia and normal or equivocal sella in radiographs underwent computed tomography using a Siemens Somatom II. In all but one case an abnormality was found. The sella was full in seven and partially empty in nine. A tumour was visible in six of the full and in four of the partially empty sellae. All but one of the 10 tumours was unilateral, and in seven the pituitary stalk was deviated away from the tumour. After administration of intravenous contrast (Urografin) four tumours showed diffuse enhancement, four ring enhancement, and two enhanced less than adjacent normal pituitary tissue. Two of the tumours have been subsequently shown histologically to be prolactinomas. Prolactin response to thyrotrophin-releasing hormone predicted a tumour in seven out of eight with visible tumours but also in three out of four without visible tumours; using metoclopramide, a tumour was predicted in six out of seven with tumours, but again in three out of four without visible tumours. Such results question the value of dynamic tests for the discrimination of tumours. We conclude that practically all women with sustained hyperprolactinaemia and a normal or equivocal sella radiologically have pituitary disease.