Congress of Neurological Surgeons Systematic Review and Evidence-Based Guideline on Preoperative Imaging Assessment of Patients With Suspected Nonfunctioning Pituitary Adenomas

Clark C Chen, Bob S Carter, Renzhi Wang, Kunal S Patel, Christopher Hess, Mary E Bodach, Luis M Tumialan, Nelson M Oyesiku, Chirag G Patil, Zachary Litvack, Gabriel Zada, Manish K Aghi
Neurosurgery 2016, 79 (4): E524-6

BACKGROUND: The authors reviewed published articles pertaining to the preoperative imaging evaluation of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (NFPAs) and formulated recommendations.

OBJECTIVE: To provide an exhaustive review of published articles pertaining to the preoperative imaging evaluation of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas.

METHODS: The MEDLINE database was queried for studies investigating imaging for the preoperative evaluation of pituitary adenomas.

RESULTS: From an initial search of 5598 articles, 122 articles were evaluated in detail and included in this article. Based on analysis of these articles, the recommendations are as follows: (1) High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (level II) is recommended as the standard for preoperative assessment of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas, but may be supplemented with CT (level III) and fluoroscopy (level III). (2) Although there are promising results suggesting the utility of magnetic resonance spectroscopy, magnetic resonance perfusion, positron emission tomography, and single-photon emission computed tomography, there is insufficient evidence to make formal recommendations pertaining to their clinical applications.

CONCLUSION: The authors identified 122 articles that form the basis of recommendations for preoperative imaging evaluation of nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas. The full guidelines document for this chapter can be located at

ABBREVIATIONS: CT, computed tomographyDWI, diffusion-weighted imagingMRI, magnetic resonance imagingNFPA, nonfunctioning pituitary adenoma.

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