What is the role of MRI in the workup of hyposomatotropism (growth hormone deficiency [GHD])?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Sunil Kumar Sinha, MD; Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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A lateral skull image may provide evidence of enlargement or distortion of the sella turcica, as well as suprasellar calcification, which indicates a craniopharyngioma. As a result of the high false-negative rate of skull findings with plain radiography, MRI is the procedure of choice to exclude intracranial masses or developmental abnormalities arising from pituitary anlagen. Before rhGH therapy is started, patients with GHD should undergo MRI of the brain to exclude the possibility of an organic lesion. [32]

Contemporary MRI techniques can be overly sensitive, with MRIs depicting clinically insignificant signal intensity in the hypothalamus or pituitary gland. Most of these lesions require only clinical evaluation (eg, ophthalmologic examination, growth surveillance). A thickened pituitary stalk or asymmetric elevation of the pituitary contour warrants further evaluation.

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