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Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Diagnosis of Pituitary Macrotumors in Dogs

Duesberg C.A., Feldman E.C., Nelson R.W., et al.

J Am Vet Med Assoc, 1995. 206(5): p.657-62.

The value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the evaluation of dogs with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (PDH) and CNS signs was assessed. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain was performed in 13 dogs with PDH and neurologic signs. The diagnosis of PDH was made on the basis of results of adrenocortical function tests and abdominal ultrasonography, in conjunction with appropriate history, clinical signs, and clinicopathologic alterations. Eight dogs had been treated with the adrenocorticolytic agent, mitotane, for 1 to 30 months before the development of neurologic signs. Prior to MRI, each dog had progressive neurologic signs that could not be attributed to hypocortisolism or mitotane toxicosis. The neurologic signs most frequently detected were disorientation and ataxia. Mean age of dogs at the time neurologic signs developed was 9.5 years. Sex predilection was not detected; however, most were large-breed dogs, with 11 of the 13 dogs weighing more than 20 kg. A large mass in the pituitary gland, suprasellar region, or both was easily identified on the magnetic resonance images of each dog. The masses ranged from 8 to 24 mm in size. Expansion of tumors into the suprasellar region and compression of structures adjacent to the pituitary gland were readily detected by MRI. Contrast enhancement did not improve tumor identification, but did enable better delineation between tumor and surrounding structures. After the diagnosis of a macrotumor was made by MRI, radiotherapy was initiated in 9 dogs and was successfully completed in 6. Three dogs had a relapse of neurologic signs 8, 11, and 26 months after radiotherapy was completed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)