A doctor will usually begin by giving you a physical exam and asking about your medical history. She or he will check your general health and examine your body for unusual things like lumps.
You might be given tests or procedures such as:1
- Eye and visual field exam
- Neurological exam
- During a neurological exam, the doctor gives you a series of tests and questions to check your coordination, mental status, reflexes, and muscle function.
- MRI or CT scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body, while computed tomography (CT) scans use X-rays to produce these pictures. These machines create images of the inside of the brain and spinal cord.
- Blood tests
- Blood is drawn and tested for levels of hormones and other substances like blood sugar.
- Urine tests
- Urine is tested for levels of certain hormones.
- Venous sampling
- A sample of blood is taken from veins coming from the pituitary gland. Levels of certain hormones are measured in the blood sample.
- Cells or tissues are removed from the pituitary gland. They are then examined under a microscope to check for signs of cancer.
To find out more about diagnosis of pituitary tumors, visit the National Cancer Institute's General Information section on pituitary tumors.
- National Cancer Institute. (2011). Pituitary Tumors Treatment (PDQ), Retrieved February 28, 2012, from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/pituitary/Patient/page9/AllPages#7 [top]