High-resolution magnetic resonance imaging at 3T of pituitary gland: advantages and pitfalls

Marco Varrassi, Flavia Cobianchi Bellisari, Federico Bruno, Pierpaolo Palumbo, Raffaele Natella, Nicola Maggialetti, Massimo De Filippo, Ernesto Di Cesare, Antonio Barile, Carlo Masciocchi, Ferdinando Caranci, Alessandra Splendiani


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the primary imaging tool for the evaluation of pituitary gland pathology. In the last decades, MRI with high-field scanners has become widely used in clinical practice, leading to significant improvements in image quality mainly thanks to a superior spatial resolution and signal intensity. Moreover, several advanced functional MRI sequences have been implemented for pituitary imaging, providing valuable information in diagnostic and presurgical planning of pituitary adenomas. Higher field strength presents however some technical pitfalls to be aware of. The purpose of this article is to review the state of the art of high-resolution MRI of the pituitary gland at 3 Tesla (3T), with a particular focus on the main benefits and the possible limitations of higher field imaging.