Bethesda, Maryland 20892


Background: Pituitary tumors can cause problems by secreting hormones in the body. They can also problems by growing large and pushing on organs near the pituitary gland. The best treatment for such tumors is to remove them by surgery. But that may be sometimes difficult. Some tumors maybe too small to see. Some other tumors maybe so large that portions maybe left behind during surgery. The endosphenoidal coil (ESC) is a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) device. It fits in a small space made during surgery near the pituitary. Researchers want to see if it helps transmit MRI signals during surgery to make better images of the pituitary gland and tumors. Objective: To test the safety of using a new coil device to improve MRI imaging of pituitary tumors during surgery. Eligibility: Adults 18-65 years old who are having pituitary tumor surgery at NIH Design: Participants will be screened with: - Medical history - Physical exam - Review of prior brain scans - Blood and pregnancy tests All participants will have MRI of pituitary gland. They will lie on a table that slides into a metal cylinder in a strong magnetic field. They will lie still and get earplugs for loud sounds. A dye will be inserted into an arm vein by needle. Participants will stay in the hospital for about 1 week. They will repeat screening tests. Participants will have standard pituitary surgery. They will get medicine to go to sleep. The surgeon will create a path to the pituitary gland from under the lip. During surgery, the ESC will be placed through the path to near the pituitary. Then an MRI will be done during surgery. Then the ESC will be removed and standard surgery will continue. Participants will get standard post-operative care under another protocol.

Study summary:

Tumors of the pituitary gland comprise up to 20% of all brain tumors. The central location and the small size of the pituitary gland make the management of tumors particularly challenging. Transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) to resect pituitary tumors is highly successful at achieving complete cure for functional pituitary adenomas. It is most successful when such adenomas can be localized by preoperative MRI of the pituitary. However, in some instances, small functional tumors cannot be visualized. In the case of Cushing s disease (CD), such non-visualization may be as high as 50%. The success of transsphenoidal surgery is substantially reduced in patients with negative MRI, as some of the adenomas that cause CD are so small that they are difficult to find during surgical exploration of the pituitary. Surgical success is also diminished when tumors invade the walls of the cavernous sinus. MRI of the pituitary lacks imaging resolution to detect such invasion and so the surgeon cannot perform a complete resection with surgery based on the preoperative MRI. Signal to noise ratio (SNR) is the primary constraint on achieving high quality high resolution MRI images. SNR can be improved by longer scan times or by increasing the field strength of the MRI magnet. SNR is proportional to the square of imaging time, however, long imaging times are not clinically feasible. SNR is linearly proportional to field strength, however, replacing MRI magnets is cost prohibitive. Another strong determinant of SNR is the proximity of the MRI receiver coil to the tissue being imaged. Placement of a coil in close proximity to the structure of interest dramatically increases SNR, often as much as 10-fold. Clinically this is routinely put into practice for superficial body parts, such as the temporomandibular joints, in which small coils are placed directly over the joints to achieve rapid high-resolution imaging. For deep structures, the use of superficial coils is of no benefit. This has led to the development of endocavitary coils, such as the endorectal coil used to image the prostate gland. Such coils are now in routine clinical use here at the NIH and elsewhere. During routine TSS, the surgical approach to the pituitary provides a route for placement of imaging tools, such as handheld ultrasound and Doppler probes in close proximity to the gland. Extending this model to MRI imaging, we realized that an endocavitary surface coil within the sphenoid sinus will allow for a marked improvement in SNR for imaging the sella. To this end, we have developed an endosphenoidal coil (ESC), demonstrated its MRI safety, and performed preliminary studies in cadaver heads to determine that the ESC can be placed through the transsphenoidal approach. Placement of ESC needs no modification in the surgical TSS approach to the pituitary gland. The goal of this protocol is to examine the safety and feasibility of ESC placement and imaging during TSS. Objective To evaluate the feasibility and safety of using ESC during TSS. Study Population The study population will be up to 20 adult subjects with pituitary tumors that require TSS. Enrollment will be completed once 10 subjects have received the study procedure. The requested accrual ceiling of 20 subjects accounts for screening failures and drop-outs who do not receive the study procedure. Design This is a feasibility study of 10 subjects requiring TSS for pituitary lesions. The subjects will undergo standard TSS resection of a pituitary adenoma in the intra-operative MR suite. Following standard surgical approach, the ESC will be placed into the sphenoid sinus, while the bone of the sellar floor is still intact. Routine clinical pituitary imaging with and without intravenous contrast will be performed for comparison with standard pituitary imaging. Additional higher resolution sequences will be performed as time allows. Following imaging, standard surgical resection will be performed. Surgeon will not view scans arising from the research procedure and therefore intraoperative clinical decisions making will not be influenced by the results of the research imaging. Outcome Measures Primary Outcome Measure The primary outcome of this study is the feasibility of using ESC as a clinical tool during transsphenoidal surgery. Feasibility will be assessed by the time added to a standard TSS procedure (measured from the time the TSS exposure is completed to the time to return to the operating position for completion of surgery). Safety Outcome Measure We will evaluate the safety of the ESC as a surgical adjunct tool. We will evaluate whether the use of ESC causes local trauma, bleeding, burns or other unanticipated safety issues during TSS. Exploratory Outcome Measures Clinical utility of these images will be evaluated by comparing SNR and contrast to noise ratio (CNR) measurements obtained with the ESC to preoperative standard of care images. 1. Pituitary SNR with ESC MRI versus pre-operative standard of care images. 2. Pituitary to tumor Contrast to Noise Ratio (CNR) with ESC MRI versus pre-operative standard of care images.


- INCLUSION CRITIERIA: Adult subjects (more than 18 years of age) will be included in this study if they: 1. Have a known or suspected tumor of the pituitary gland that requires surgical resection through a transsphenoidal approach. There is no size restriction. Invasion of surrounding anatomical structures by the pituitary tumor will not be ground for screen failure/withdrawal from study. 2. Are enrolled in 03-N-0164, Evaluation and Treatment of Neurosurgical Disorders. If not enrolled, subjects will not be able to be included in the study as clinical and research procedures are done under the 03-N-0164 protocol. 3. Are able to provide written consent 4. NIH employees are included in the study EXCLUSION CRITIERIA: Subjects will be excluded from this study if they: 1. Are unable to fit the intra-operative MRI table due to size or weight restrictions i.e morbid obesity. Patients will be anaesthetized and therefore claustrophobia will not be ground for screen failure/withdrawal from study. 2. Have an absolute contraindication to MRI imaging or MRI contrast agent according to Rad&IS screening including devices or conditions. 3. Have a variant anatomy which may, in the judgment of the operating neurosurgeon, add unacceptable risk to the placement of the endosphenoidal coil (e.g. small size of facial bones and nasal passages, unaerated sphenoid sinus etc.). 4. Are pregnant or nursing. 5. Patients older than 65 years of age. Cushing disease is rare in the older population. The Eligibility Checklist is included as an attachment. This checklist is used by the investigator at the time of screening for admission to the protocol.

Study is Available At:

Original ID:




Secondary ID:


Study Acronym:

Brief Title:

Feasibility of Endosphenoidal Coil Placement for Imaging of the Sella During Transsphenoidal Surgery

Official Title:

Feasibility of Endosphenoidal Coil Placement for Imaging of the Sella During Transsphenoidal Surgery

Overall Status:


Study Phase:




Minimum Age:

18 Years

Maximum Age:

65 Years

Quick Facts

Healthy Volunteers
Oversight Has DMC
Study Is FDA Regulated
Study Is Section 801
Has Expanded Access

Study Source:

National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Oversight Authority:

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Reasons Why Stopped:

Study Type:


Study Design:

Number of Arms:


Number of Groups:


Total Enrollment:


Enrollment Type:


Overall Contact Information

Official Name:Prashant Chittiboina, M.D.
Principal Investigator
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Primary Contact:Gretchen C Scott, R.N.
(301) 496-2921

Study Dates

Start Date:August 2, 2019
Completion Date:September 30, 2021
Completion Type:Anticipated
Primary Completion Date:June 15, 2021
Primary Completion Type:Anticipated
Verification Date:August 7, 2019
Last Changed Date:August 15, 2019
First Received Date:September 18, 2018

Study Outcomes

Outcome Type:Primary Outcome
Measure:Feasibility of using ESC as a clinical tool during transsphenoidal surgery.Feasibility will be assessed by the time added to a standard TSSprocedure.
Time Frame:2 hours
Safety Issues:False
Description:The primary outcome of this study is the feasibility of using ESC as a clinical tool during transsphenoidal surgery. Feasibility will be assessed by the time added to a standard TSS procedure (measured from the time the TSS exposure is completed to the ti

Study Interventions

Intervention Type:Other
Arm Name:1

Study Arms

Study Arm Type:Experimental
Arm Name:1

Study Agencies

Agency Class:NIH
Agency Type:Lead Sponsor
Agency Name:National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Sample and Retention Information

There are no available Sample and Retention Information

Study References

There are no available Study References

Data Source:

Date Processed: January 21, 2020

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