• Open Access

Dynamic Computed Tomography of the Pituitary Gland in Dogs with Pituitary-Dependent Hyperadrenocorticism


Division of Diagnostic Imaging, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 10, P.O. Box 80.164, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands; e-mail: rh.vandervlugt@wanadoo.nl.


Dynamic computed tomography (CT) of the pituitary gland was performed in 55 dogs with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (PDH) that underwent transsphenoidal hypophysectomy. On routine contrast-enhanced CT images, microadenomas of the pituitary gland often are indistinguishable from nontumorous pituitary tissue because of isoattenuation. Dynamic CT may allow visualization of these adenomas. The changes in the contrast-enhancement pattern of the pituitary during dynamic CT in 55 dogs with PDH were correlated with surgical and histopathologic findings. In 36 dogs, dynamic CT identified distinct contrast enhancement of the neurohypophysis (pituitary flush). In 24 dogs, this pituitary flush was displaced, which indicated the presence of an adenoma. This observation was confirmed surgically and histopathologically in 18 of the 24 dogs. In 19 dogs, there was a diffusely abnormal contrast-enhancement pattern. CT findings agreed with surgical findings in 13 of these dogs and with histopathologic findings in all 19 dogs. It is concluded that a dynamic series of scans should be included in the CT protocol of the pituitary gland in dogs with PDH because it allows for identification of an adenoma or a diffusely abnormal pituitary gland.