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January 1977

Abnormal Sella Turcica: A Tumor Board Review of the Clinical Significance

Author Affiliations

From the Endocrine Service, Department of Medicine, Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, Denver. Dr Kurnick is now at the Veterans Administration Hospital and the University of Colorado Medical Center, Denver.

Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(1):111-117. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630130075018

Sixty of 146 patients with intracranial neoplasms or arterial aneurysms had roentgenographic abnormalities of the sella turcica. These abnormalities were most commonly due to chromophobe adenoma, craniopharygioma, and acromegaly, but ten of them were caused by lesions arising distant to the sella. There were also three cases of empty sella syndrome. Headache, visual disturbance, and sexual dysfunction were the most frequent presenting complaints, with visual field abnormality being most common. Pituitary dysfunction was manifested most frequently by alterations in growth hormone level and gonadotrophin secretion and less frequently by hypothyroidism and adrenocortical insufficiency. When the abnormal sella was associated with evidence of symptomatic intracranial disease, endocrine dysfunction, or visual field compromise as evidence of an anatomically aggressive intracranial neoplasm, specialized neuroroentgenographic localizing procedures were usually positive, and treatment for most of the causative lesions was highly effective.

(Arch Intern Med 137:111-117, 1977)