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  • Author or Editor: Cynthia A. Duesberg x
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Summary

The value of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for the evaluation of dogs with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (pdh) and cns signs was assessed. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain was performed in 13 dogs with pdh and neurologic signs. The diagnosis of pdh was made on the basis of results of adrenocortical function tests and abdominal ultrasonography, in conjunction with appropriate history, clinical signs, and clinicopathologic alterations. Eight dogs had been treated with the adrenocorticolytic agent, mitotane, for 1 to 30 months before the development of neurologic signs.

Prior to mri, each dog had progressive neurologic signs that could not be attributed to hypocortisolism or mitotane toxicosis. The neurologic signs most frequently detected were disorientation and ataxia. Mean age of dogs at the time neurologic signs developed was 9.5 years. Sex predilection was not detected; however, most were large-breed dogs, with 11 of the 13 dogs weighing more than 20 kg.

A large mass in the pituitary gland, suprasellar region, or both was easily identified on the magnetic resonance images of each dog. The masses ranged from 8 to 24 mm in size. Expansion of tumors into the suprasellar region and compression of structures adjacent to the pituitary gland were readily detected by MRI. Contrast enhancement did not improve tumor identification, but did enable better delineation between tumor and surrounding structures.

After the diagnosis of a macrotumor was made by MRI, radiotherapy was initiated in 9 dogs and was successfully completed in 6. Three dogs had a relapse of neurologic signs 8, 11, and 26 months after radiotherapy was completed. Three dogs are alive 8, 15, and 32 months after radiotherapy. Postmortem examinations performed on 7 dogs confirmed the diagnosis of pituitary macroadenomas. In 4 dogs, postmortem examination was performed within 1 month of MRI, providing a means to substantiate results. Magnetic resonance imaging provided accurate information on tumor size and the extent of tumor expansion into the surrounding structures.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Magnetic resonance imaging was used to determine the prevalence of visible pituitary masses in 21 dogs with recently diagnosed and untreated pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism. All dogs had clinical signs and routine database values (CBC, serum biochemical panel, and urinalysis) consistent with a diagnosis of hyperadrenocorticism, and none had clinical signs suggestive of an intracranial mass. Each dog had plasma cortisol concentrations after adrenocorticotropic hormone administration or low-dose dexamethasone administration consistent with hyperadrenocorticism. Pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism was confirmed by the finding of 2 equal-size adrenal glands on abdominal ultrasonography and by results of plasma endogenous adrenocorticotropic hormone concentration and high-dose dexamethasone suppression testing. Sagittal and transverse Tl-weighted magnetic resonance images of the brain were obtained before and after IV administration of gadopentenate dimeglumine.

Eleven dogs had visible masses, ranging in size from 4 to 12 mm at greatest vertical height. Mean age and body weight of dogs with a visible pituitary mass was not significantly different from dogs without a visible mass. There was no significant difference in endocrine test results when comparing dogs with a visible pituitary mass to dogs without. The prevalence of visible pituitary masses in dogs with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism was greater than suggested by the prevalence of clinical neurologic signs.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association