Pituitary Innovation and Teaching

What sorts of tests will I need?

Video transcript

Speaker: Dr. Michael Cusimano

Before they get to St. Michael’s Hospital to the pituitary centre they will normally have had an MRI done – which is a detailed examination of the brain to show us the different areas of the brain that might be affected by the tumor or abnormality in or around the pituitary gland. They’ll often have a CAT scan as well. They’ll often have a blood test that they will have completed. One of those blood tests should be done at eight o’clock in the morning because it assesses a hormone called cortisol, which is best assessed early in the morning.

As well, we normally routinely get a series of vision tests or eye tests and the commonest of these is called a visual field test – which is a test where the person will sit in front of a screen with a button and look for lights to flash and then they’ll have to indicate when they see the light flashing. This gives us a sense of how their peripheral vision is. Some patients will also get tests of their central vision with something called the visual evoke potential - which is an electrical test assessing how quickly the eye conducts electricity or the nerve from the eye, more accurately, conducts electricity. And may we also get a test called HRT or OCT which tells us about the thickness of the optic nerve and whether there has been any damage in the past in the optic nerve or the in scene that we’re used to see with. So these are the types of tests that people will have prior to coming to St. Michael’s Hospital.


Page last updated: June 3, 2016