How do you diagnose pituitary tumors?

MRI and labs. Blood tests can confirm if the tumor is actively producing extra hormones but MRI of the pituitary is the main study to visualize the actual tumor.
Most accurate. Is MRI brain, with and without contrast hormone tests determine whether growth is secreting too much or too little pituitary hormones.

Related Questions

Why are pituitary tumors so hard to diagnose?

They are very small. These tumors secrete very powerful hormones that have far reaching affects on the body but many times the tumors are so small and also protected in the skull that they are not seen on standard imaging. Special imaging studies are needed many times to detect the tumors. Also, many of these hormones can be measured in the blood and if elevated, the search for the tumor is intensified. Read more...
Cellular level. The pituitary is a complex organ with many complex cells and interconnections. Normal changes in cell growth and hormone section is happening all the time. When these normal cell changes get out of control it may be very difficult to tell until they are very abnormal. No one test can be the answer. Read more...
It depends. Fortunately, in the era of modern medicine, diagnosis is typically not all that difficult. Mri is generally quite reliable in diagnosing pituitary tumors. Otherwise, eye exam (visual field testing) and blood hormone tests are important in diagnosing pituitary tumors. Prior to the age of accurate intracranial imaging, these tumors were indeed more difficult to diagnose. Read more...

Is Acromelagy always due a pituitary tumor?

Other rare causes. Growth hormone (GH) producing pituitary tumor is the primary cause for acromegaly. Other reported cases are rare, including: GH-releasing hormone producing hypothalamic tumor (an area above the pituitary) and ectopic GH production by neuroendocrine tumor or small cell lung cancer. Excess GH is also rarely secreted by certain lymphoma. Read more...
No. Diagnosing acromegaly involves 2 blood tests that measure level of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and oral glucose tolerance t\ (OGTT). Difficult to test level of growth hormone (GH) in acromegaly. Scan of head performed to confirm presence an adenoma in pituitary gland. If no tumor detected, a CT scan of abdomen and pelvis looks for tumors of adrenal, pancreas or pvary producing GH. Read more...

How are pituitary tumors tested?

Labs. Blood testings can determine if the tumor is increasing or decreasing hormones production/secretion. Read more...
Imaging and hormones. The pituitary controls most of the hormones in the body. When the pituitary is either too active or not working well, the hormone levels will show a major problem. Then specific imaging can be done to look carefully at the pituitary to look for a region of tumor. These tests should be done under the supervision of an expert in hormones - an endocrinologist. Read more...

How do we treat pituitary tumors?

It depends. Often a first step is tumor removal (and obtaining a biopsy specimen), now frequently performed as an endoscopic surgery through the sinuses, usually done by both an ENT surgeon and a neurosurgeon. Tumors which make pituitary hormones may shrink or stabilize with oral medication. Large or aggressive tumors may require targeted radiation therapy, e.g. Cyber knife, after (or instead of) surgery. Read more...
Medicine or surgery. If the tumor is secreting a hormone, it could be treated with medication and or surgery. If it is greater than 1.0 cm and growing, it is most often treated with surgery. Once in a while, radiation is used to treat such tumors. Read more...

Are all pituitary tumors the same?

No. Pituitary tumors can be benign adenomas (non-cancerous) or malignant carcinomas (cancerous). Also, many tumors are bland tumors whoch grow into the neigboring tissues an cause symptoms (headaches, viusal changes, etc). Other tumors secrete hormones and cause distant effects on other organs such as the adrenal glands for example. Read more...
Tough question. Tumors of the pituitary vary almost as much as the type of people who ask questions to health tap. Think of the pituitary as an attachment of the brain that receives information and sends messages in the form of hormones throughout the body. Abnormal growths can occur within and around this gland as well as excessive growth due to too much or too little information and hormone in and output. Read more...
Pituitary tumors. Most are Adenomas. They can be Micro or Macro, depending on size. They can be Functional such as Prolactinoma, or Non-functional. Read more...

How do the pituitary tumors occur?

Don't know. Most pituitary tumors occur spontaneously without any underlying known cause. Read more...
Loss of control. The cells of our pituitary gland are constantly producing and simulating and functioning within defined limits. Sometimes, these limits break down with a loss of control. The exact cause for this loss is unclear. But when it occurs, the normal function gets out of control, normal growth gets out of control, and normal production gets out of control. These collections of cells become tumors. Read more...

Why are pituitary tumors so common?

1 in 5. Almost 20% may have pituitary tumors but most will remain undetected as they do not cause any symptoms. Those that grow large enough to cause symptoms due to size or secrete enough of one of many hormones that the pituitary normally secretes may need to be treated with medicines or surgery. Prognosis is generally good. Visit: http://www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/pubmedhealth/pmh0001723/. Read more...
Fate. Our organs are very active. The cells throughout our body are stressed and need to be replaced. At times this replacement process gets out of control. Instead of normal replacement cells tumors may develop. Active glands are prone. Thyroid, adrenal, ovary, testes, pituitary, gi, lung, blood cells, all can suddenly convert to cancer. How we normally keep under control is a mystery. Read more...