While MRI has become the imaging modality of choice in the diagnosis of sellar tumors, no systematic attempt has yet been made to align radiological reporting of findings with the information needed by the various medical disciplines dealing with these patients. Therefore, we aimed to determine the prevailing preferences in this regard through a nationwide expert survey.
First, an interdisciplinary literature-based catalog of potential reporting elements for sellar tumor MRI examinations was created. Subsequently, a web-based survey regarding the clinical relevance of these items was conducted among board certified members of the German Society of Neurosurgery, German Society of Radiation Oncology, and the Pituitary Working Group of the German Society of Endocrinology.
A total of 95 experts (40 neurosurgeons, 28 radiation oncologists, and 27 endocrinologists) completed the survey. The description of the exact tumor location, size, and involvement of the anatomic structures adjacent to the sella turcica (optic chiasm, cavernous sinus, and skull base), occlusive hydrocephalus, relationship to the pituitary gland and infundibulum, and certain structural characteristics of the mass (cyst formation, hemorrhage, and necrosis) was rated most important (> 75% agreement). In contrast, the characterization of anatomic features of the nasal cavity and sphenoid sinus as well as the findings of advanced MRI techniques (e.g., perfusion and diffusion imaging) was considered relevant by less than 50% of respondents.
To optimally address the information needs of the interdisciplinary treatment team, MRI reports of sellar masses should primarily focus on the accurate description of tumor location, size, internal structure, and involvement of adjacent anatomic compartments.