Intraoperative US of the pituitary gland. Work in progress

J. L. Doppman*, Z. Ram, T. H. Shawker, E. H. Oldfield

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To evaluate the use of ultrasound (US) of the pituitary gland during transsphenoidal surgery as a means of detecting microadenomas in patients with Cushing disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirteen patients with Cushing disease and one with acromegaly underwent US during transsphenoidal surgery. Mechanically oscillating transducers (10 MHz [n = 8] or 15 MHz [n = 6]) mounted on a 15-cm-long probe were used. RESULTS: Seven adenomas were definitely visualized, two were poorly seen, and four were overlooked. Small tumors (<5 mm in diameter) tended to be hypoechoic; larger ones, hyperechoic. All four overlooked adenomas were imaged with the 15-MHz transducer. The cavernous sinuses and internal carotid arteries could be seen, but minimal invasion of the medial wall of the cavernous sinus could not. CONCLUSION: Pituitary microadenomas can be detected with transsphenoidal US; however, evaluation of larger series with instrumentation developed specifically for transsphenoidal application will be necessary to determine the ultimate value of this technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Acromegaly
  • Cushing syndrome
  • Pituitary, neoplasms
  • Ultrasound (US), intraoperative


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