In vivo assessment of pituitary volume with magnetic resonance imaging and systematic stereology: Relationship to dexamethasone suppression test results in patients

David A. Axelson, P. Murali Doraiswamy, Orest B. Boyko, P. Rodrigo Escalona, William M. McDonald, James C. Ritchie, Linda J. Patterson, Everett H. Ellinwood, Charles B. Nemeroff, K. Ranga Rama Krishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

108 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship between dexamethasone suppression test (DST) results and in vivo pituitary volume was studied in 24 psychiatric inpatients. The principles of systematic stereology were used to measure pituitary volume from 3-mm contiguous sagittal spin-echo magnetic resonance (MR) images of the brain. There was no correlation between pituitary volume and 3 p.m. or 10 p.m. postdexamethasone (post-DEX) plasma cortisol concentrations. However, when multiple regression analysis was performed to relate pituitary volume to gender, age, and post-DEX plasma cortisol concentrations, there was a significant relationship between pituitary volume and age, gender, and 10 p.m. post-DEX cortisol plasma concentration. This is the first study to demonstrate a method that directly measures, rather than estimates, in vivo pituitary volume. Furthermore, it suggests that activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in psychiatric patients, as manifested by elevated post-DEX cortisol concentrations, may influence pituitary volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • cortisol
  • Depression
  • hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Psychology(all)

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    Axelson, D. A., Doraiswamy, P. M., Boyko, O. B., Escalona, P. R., McDonald, W. M., Ritchie, J. C., Patterson, L. J., Ellinwood, E. H., Nemeroff, C. B., & Krishnan, K. R. R. (1992). In vivo assessment of pituitary volume with magnetic resonance imaging and systematic stereology: Relationship to dexamethasone suppression test results in patients. Psychiatry Research, 44(1), 63-70. https://doi.org/10.1016/0165-1781(92)90070-J