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September 1976

Empty Sella Syndrome Secondary to Intrasellar Cyst in Adolescence

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore (Drs Raiti and Maclaren) and the departments of medicine (Dr Albrink), radiology (Dr Gabriele), and pathology (Dr Chou), West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown. Dr Chadduck is in private practice in Martinsville, Va.

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(9):1009-1012. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120100099017

• A 15-year-old boy had growth failure and failure of sexual development. The probable onset was at age 10. Endocrine studies showed hypopituitarism with deficiency of growth hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, an abnormal response to metyrapone, and deficiency of thyroid function. Luteinizing hormone level was in the low-normal range. Posterior pituitary function was normal. Roentgenogram showed a large sella with some destruction of the posterior clinoids. Transsphenoidal exploration was carried out. The sella was empty except for a whitish membrane; no pituitary tissue was seen. The sella was packed with muscle. Recovery was uneventful, and the patient was given replacement therapy.

On histologic examination, the cyst wall showed low pseudostratified cuboidal epithelium and occasional squamous metaplasia. Hemosiderin-filled phagocytes and acinar structures were also seen. The diagnosis was probable rupture of an intrasellar epithelial cyst, leading to empty sella syndrome.

(Am J Dis Child 130:1009-1012, 1976)