Reading Pituitary MRI’s from Lewis S Blevins Jr., M.D. – Accurate interpretation and use of MRI images of the pituitary in patients with pituitary disorders are skills that require decades of medical practice to develop and refine. It’s often said that a picture is worth 1000 words.
In our field, that is particularly true only when one has reviewed tens of thousands of pictures over a lifetime of practice and incorporates those findings with the clinical history, physical findings, laboratory data, and investigations over time during the process of long-term follow up of patients with pituitary disorders.
Because of this and other reasons, many physicians will not often review or share MRI studies with patients. They believe there is no way in the world that a patient can begin to understand what is depicted in the MRI studies.
I have learned that patients want to and can develop an understanding and so strongly desire to see images illustrating their tumors and some other disease processes. It leads to not only a better overall picture but also acceptance and the willingness to undergo complex procedures in order to obtain proper treatment.
Thus, I consider it wise to take the time to share imaging studies with my patients. The advent of social media has created a new “problem” for patients and physicians alike. These days, patients are quick to post images of their radiographic studies online and to ask for advice in advance of receiving an official report or review from their doctors.
Legions of similarly affected patients are quick to offer their opinions and interpretations of those studies. These interpretations and opinions are often inaccurate and, in the most extreme cases, comments about what is seen regarding the pituitary gland are posted even though the pituitary gland is not visible on the images shared with the online community.
The point of this section of pituitary world news is to educate the layperson about pituitary radiology.
We will post a series of videos, in no particular order, that will, collectively, help you identify and locate the pituitary gland, recognize what is normal, detect and understand abnormalities, and perhaps allow you to relate what we share with you to your own MRI studies. Our purpose, as always, is to help those affected with pituitary disorders to become informed so that there is less uncertainty or anxiety about their disorders and so that they may advocate for themselves when interacting with healthcare professionals. We certainly hope that you enjoy this section designed in to educate patients and physicians alike.
© 2019, Pituitary World News. All rights reserved.