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MRI with Contrast vs. MRI w/o Contrast?
My Neurologist is trying to locate a Pituitary tumor due to some recent bloodwork and a host of symptoms.
The Neurologist said the MRI could be done with OR without contrast, but he would prefer contrast because pituitary tumors are usually small...

I told my Neurologist I would prefer NO CONTRAST injections (Gadolinium) because the last time I had imaging done with contrasting injection (it wasn't iodine or dye) I had a bad reaction and I would REALLY like to try and avoid the injections altogether.

I guess my question is, can an MRI done without contrast locate the tumor, or does it pose a possibility that the tumor will be missed? What is the most sensitive way to locate this tumor without invasive contrast injections?

I've heard that tumors can be "missed" without contrast. If MRIs are so sensitive, wouldn't at LEAST locate some kind of small abnormality?

Please help.
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Avatar universal
Hi,

How are you?
An MRI with contrast is more sensitive to detect tumors as the tumors absorb the contrast agent and glow.
Abnormalities can be seen in a non contrast enhanced scan as well. Usually a contrast scan id done if some abnormality is picked up in a scan without contrast.
If you are allergic to the contrast dye, a non enhanced scan is the option for you. The results of the scan then will have to be correlated to your symptoms. Hope this helps!

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