Pituitary stalk

Last revised by Dr Henry Knipe on 21 Sep 2021

The pituitary stalk, also known as the infundibulum or infundibular stalk, is largely outside the blood brain barrier like the rest of the pituitary and therefore normally enhances following the administration of gadolinium. It gradually tapers inferiorly, and superiorly is spread by the infundibular recess of the third ventricle.

There have been some studies looking at the range of normal sizes of the pituitary stalk. One study 2 had a normal range of:

in other words, 95% of patients should have a stalk that measures no more than:

  • 4.4 mm at the level of the optic chiasm, and
  • 2.7 mm just above the gland

Related pathology

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: anterior pituitary
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  • Case 1: normal pituitary MRI
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  • Figure 2: posterior pituitary
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