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Neurosurgery. 1998 Jan;42(1):81-5; discussion 86.

Trans-sellar color Doppler ultrasonography during transsphenoidal surgery.

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



To improve the safety and efficacy of transsphenoidal pituitary adenoma surgery, we investigated transsphenoidal intraoperative color Doppler ultrasonography using a biplane transducer system.


We studied 23 patients with pituitary adenomas (18 patients with macroadenomas and 5 patients with microadenomas) who underwent transsphenoidal surgery. The Hitachi EUB555 color Doppler ultrasound system (Hitachi Medical, Tokyo, Japan) was used with a pediatric biplane transesophageal echo cardiography probe (EUP-ES533, 7.5 MHz, biplane phased array sector probe, 9.8-mm tip). The probe was inserted into the saline-filled sphenoid sinus after the sellar floor was opened. Intra- and suprasellar images were obtained just before dural incision and after the tumor removal was thought to have been accomplished.


In all patients, the tumor was depicted as a slightly hyperechoic mass, as compared with the cerebrum. Using color Doppler imaging, major cerebral arteries were depicted clearly in 74% of patients. The pituitary glands, pituitary stalks, and optic chiasms were observed in patients with small adenomas, but not when large adenomas were present. Cavernous sinus invasion, concomitant aneurysm, and residual tumor were clearly visualized. In patients with large adenomas, the end point of surgery was decided when there was an ultrasonographically demonstrated collapsed tumor capsule, subcapsular total vacancy, and reappearance of the optic chiasm.


Trans-sellar color Doppler ultrasonography seems to be a useful intraoperative guiding system that may improve the safety and efficacy of transsphenoidal surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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