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Study of pituitary glands in normal adults by high-resolution MRI

CHEN Jie1, WANG Hao-ran1, FANG Chao1, LIU Min2   

  1. 1. Department of Endocrinology, the ninth people’s Hospital of Chongqing, 400700, China; 2. Department of Anatomy, Laboratory of Forensic Medicine and Biomedicine Information, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing 400016, China
  • Online:2017-05-28 Published:2017-05-31


Objective · To study changes of morphological characteristics of pituitary glands in normal adults by high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Methods · A total of 245 healthy adults were scanned by 3.0T MRI to measure widths,lengths,heights and volumes of pituitary glands and observe pituitary gland morphology. Results · The average height of pituitary was (5.47±1.33) mm in males and (6.06±1.32) mm in females; the average volume of pituitary was (614.07±125.52) mm3 in males and (660.00±117.35) mm3 in females. The difference between the genders was statistically significant (P<0.01). The pituitary height was positively related to the pituitary volume (r=0.829,P<0.01). Except the pituitary lengths, there was statistically significance in the pituitary widths, heights and volumes among different age groups (P<0.05), and all of them were negatively correlated with age (P<0.01). Conclusion · The pituitary heights and volumes peak in the 18-29 age group in adults and tend to decline with increased age. In female subjects, however, there is a tendency of pituitary heights and volumes to increase again in the 50-59 age group. The average height and volume of female pituitary glands are significantly greater than those of males.

Key words:  pituitary volume, pituitary height, adult, magnetic resonance imaging