Normal pituitary gland: Changes in shape, size, and signal intensity during the 1st year of life at MR imaging

T. D. Cox, A. D. Elster

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations

Abstract

Magnetic resonance images of the pituitary glands in 48 endocrinologically normal neonates and infants were analyzed to determine the changes in pituitary gland size, shape, and signal intensity that occur during the 1st year of life. A progressive increase in the length - but not height - of the gland was seen throughout the 1st year. When corrections for total brain size were made, the pituitary gland was found to diminish in relative cross-sectional area throughout infancy. Upward convexity of the gland was seen in 63% of neonates less than 1 month of age, but in only 4% of infants older than 2 months. Hyperintensity of the adenohypophysis relative to the brain stem was visualized on T1-weighted images in 18 of the 24 (75%) neonates and infants less than 2 months old; this appearance was never seen in older infants. An area of high signal intensity was visualized in the posterior pituitary in 32 of 48 cases (67%), and its visualization was unrelated to age. The neonatal and young infant pituitary gland is thus significantly rounder, brighter, and relatively larger during the first 2 months of life than in later infancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-724
Number of pages4
JournalRadiology
Volume179
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

Keywords

  • Infants, endocrine glands
  • Pituitary, MR studies, 145.1214, 145.92
  • Pituitary, anatomy, 145.92

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Normal pituitary gland: Changes in shape, size, and signal intensity during the 1st year of life at MR imaging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this