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Is it possible that an MRI with contrast could miss a pituitary tumor

A 44-year-old member asked:
Dr. Roger Frankel
28 years experience Neurosurgery
Yes: If the tumor is very small it could be missed on mri.
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A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Susan Wingo
32 years experience Endocrinology
Yes: Most pituitary tumors are "microadenomas", meaning that they are less than 1 CM in size. Mris done specifically to look for a pituitary tumor are ver ... Read More
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A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Mazen Abuawad
29 years experience Radiology
Yes: Especially large ones.
A 60-year-old female asked:
Dr. Jefferson Chen
33 years experience Neurosurgery
Check with neurosurg: The concern with mris and aneurysm coils is whether or not they have MRI compatible metal. Generally, the coils that are currently used (at least in ... Read More
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A 49-year-old member asked:
Dr. Timothy Mountcastle
21 years experience Plastic Surgery
If its small enough: Yes. All radiology tests only pick things up once they become a certain size.
A 48-year-old female asked:
Dr. Donald Alves
23 years experience Emergency Medicine
Yes: A ct "slices" (reconstructs actually) into 1-2cm thick windows. So many cysts disappear into the resolution limits of the test. Also, some fluid can b ... Read More
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A 43-year-old member asked:
Dr. Robert Lang
51 years experience Endocrinology
Yes: In order to get pregnant you must ovulate and this is controlled by pituitary hormones. Certain pituitary tumors, particularly those producing prolact ... Read More
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A 46-year-old female asked:
Dr. Clifford Rogers
40 years experience Obstetrics and Gynecology
Not likely: Estrogen levels fluctuate depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. If your estrogen was very low (in the menopausal range) your fsh level ... Read More
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A 24-year-old male asked:
Dr. Paul Garrett
39 years experience Radiology
No symptomatic tumor: It is a pretty safe bet that MRI together with contrast CT can exclude a symptomatic tumor (mass) in the head. That does not mean all causes of head ... Read More
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A 58-year-old female asked:
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
48 years experience Pathology
Yes: Please note that all cancers start as one cancerous cell. A tumor can be too small to be detectable by any imaging technique.
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A 37-year-old female asked:
Dr. Michael Gabor
32 years experience Diagnostic Radiology
Very: Unlikely
A 29-year-old female asked:
Dr. Joseph Rosin
47 years experience Internal Medicine
Sort of: An MRI is very sensitive but not always as specific. It picks up images that appear abnormal. They may require further studies to determine whether i ... Read More
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A 34-year-old female asked:
Dr. Kevin Yoo
Dr. Kevin Yoo answered
27 years experience Neurosurgery
It depends: Sometimes the tumors are so subtle that you cannot be certain. Many of the time the tumors will light up with contrast in which case you can be much m ... Read More
A 39-year-old female asked:
Dr. Elden Rand
20 years experience Cardiology
No: A noncontrast head ct would not tell you the information you require about inflammation in the blood vessels - unless there was associated bleeding.
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A 31-year-old female asked:
Dr. Ivelisse Rivera-Godreau
23 years experience Family Medicine
Possible..: The T-spine MRI may show the lower C-spine components which are adjacent to the upper T-spine vertebra, so even though this could be an artifact it is ... Read More
A 42-year-old female asked:
Dr. Saptarshi Bandyopadhyay
20 years experience Hospital-based practice
Yes to both.: You can have an indolent lymphoma - abnormal immune cells in the lymphatic system - but in such a stage that the lymph glands aren't yet (or won't be) ... Read More
A 37-year-old female asked:
Dr. Peter Baumann
Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology
CT scan: The ct scan is one thing - the radiologist, who reads the ct scan another. Radiologists typically can interpret radiographic images the better the cli ... Read More
A 48-year-old female asked:
Dr. Elena Vezza
Specializes in Internal Medicine
Not easily seen: An adrenal tumor can be small and is not easily seen on CT scans, especially if done without contrast or if thin cuts at the level of the adrenal glan ... Read More
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A 33-year-old female asked:
Dr. Oscar Dellinger
28 years experience Palliative Care
Maybe: CT is helpful in diagnosing MS, though MRI is better. While a CT showing MS is pretty accurate, a CT NOT showing MS doesn't mean it's impossible that ... Read More
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A 36-year-old member asked:
Dr. Lea Danielsen
31 years experience Family Medicine
Don't assume: Most brain masses are not cancer. There are many benign (not cancer) causes of a mass in the brain. If your doctor said the mass has characteristics ... Read More
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A 44-year-old female asked:
Dr. Kathy Robinson
31 years experience Family Medicine
MRI is better: An adrenal tumor may be seen on both MRI and CT scan but an MRI is better to visualize soft tissues like the adrenal.
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A 33-year-old female asked:
Dr. Rowlin Lichter
71 years experience Orthopedic Surgery
Bachial plexitis: Stretching of the brachial plexus is a constantly painful problem easily diagnosed by electrodiagnosis. Ask a physiatrist. The MRI could be confirma ... Read More

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

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