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Neuroradiology. 1995 Nov;37(8):624-30.

MRI of pineal region tumours: relationship between tumours and adjacent structures.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Hiroshima University School of Medicine, Japan.


A variety of tumours may arise in the pineal region; accurate diagnosis is important in the selection of treatment and prognosis. A retrospective analysis of the MRI studies of 25 patients with pathologically proven pineal region tumours was performed, focused on the relationship between the tumour and neighbouring structures. Compression of the tectal plate was classified as expansive or invasive, and compression of the corpus callosum as inferior, anterior or posterior. In 10 of the 14 patients (71%) with germ cell tumours tectal compression was of the invasive type; 8 patients (57%) had multiple tumours and in 13 (93%) the tumor margins were irregular. Teratomas were readily diagnosed because of characteristic heterogeneous signal intensity. Pineal cell tumours were differentiated from germ cell tumours by their rounded shape, solid nature, sharp margins, and expansive type of tectal compression. Meningiomas were characterised by their falcotentorial attachments, posterior callosal compression, and a low-intensity rim on T2-weighted images. Gd-DTPA injection enabled clear demonstration of the site and extent of tumour spread and was useful in differentiating cystic and solid components. The appearances described, while not pathognomonic, are helpful in the differential diagnosis of pineal region tumours, and valuable in planning appropriate treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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