Noncontrast pituitary MRI effective for pediatric pathology diagnosis

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

April 21, 2021 -- Noncontrast MRI of the pituitary gland has comparable diagnostic yield to contrast MRI when it comes to identifying pediatric conditions such as central precocious puberty, growth hormone deficiency, and short stature, according to data presented in an electronic exhibit at the virtual American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) meeting.

The study results could translate into time and cost savings from not having to administer contrast, wrote a team led by Dr. Jennifer Huang of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN.

The researchers reviewed 448 pediatric pituitary MRI studies taken between 2010 and 2019 for the three conditions. Of these studies, 35% were for central precocious puberty, 49% were for growth hormone deficiency, and 16% were for short stature.

Of the 448 exams, 136 (30%) were abnormal. Two pediatric neuroradiologists performed a blinded review of these exams, comparing the noncontrast portion of the studies to the contrast portions. The researchers found 71% agreement (97 exams) between contrast and noncontrast images. Of the 39 discrepancies, 79% were of no clinical significance, they reported.

"In a large majority of patients, the shorter noncontrast examination would provide savings in time, anesthesia, gadolinium, and associated costs," Huang and colleagues concluded.


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