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Sella Turcica

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What is Sella Turcica?

The Sella Turcica, a bony pocket that supports the pituitary gland, is a cranial base developmental boundary that separates notochord-dependent posterior development from neural crest cell migration-driven anterior development.


The pituitary gland is housed in the Sella Turcica ("Turkish saddle"), a concave, midline depression in the basisphenoid (also called the hypophysis). The anterior clinoid processes of the lesser sphenoid wing and the tuberculin Sellae constitute Sella's anterior boundaries, while the dorsum Sellae forms the posterior boundary. Understanding Sella Turcica anatomy is vital to get a complete understanding of its function. The pituitary gland and the distal section of the pituitary stalk are housed in the Sella Turcica, a midline depression in the sphenoid bone. A dural reflection protects the Sella. The supraclinoid internal carotid arteries, pituitary stalk, optic nerves, chiasm, and tracts are all in the suprasellar cistern. The cavernous sinuses, which contain the carotid arteries, are located to the side of the Sella Turcica.


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One of the most widely utilized landmarks in cephalometrics is the Sella point, located in the middle of the Sella Turcica. In a radiographic examination of neurocranial and craniofacial complex nature, the Sella Turcica is an essential structure. The locations of the maxilla and mandible in respect to the cranium and themselves are measured using such markers found inside the craniofacial area.


Sella Turcica Anatomy

The sphenoid bone's Sella Turcica is a bony depression. The cavernous sinuses border the Sella laterally, the diaphragma Sellae (dural fold) superiorly, the sphenoid sinus anteroinferiorly, and the pontine cistern posteriorly. Usually, the pituitary gland is found within the Sella. An anterior lobe, middle (vestigial) lobe, and posterior lobe make up the gland.


The Sella Turcica function is to form the bony seat for the human body's pituitary gland. The adenohypophysis, which makes up about 75–80% of the overall gland, is a hub for hormone production, including thyroid-stimulating hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), along with prolactin. The pituitary stalk connects the posterior lobe, hypothalamus, neurohypophysis, and the pituitary stalk receives hormones from the hypothalamus.


What is the Sphenoid Bone Sella Turcica? 

Sphenoid bone Sella Turcica plays a vital role in the human body. The sphenoid bone is a part of eight bones forming the cranium, which encloses and helps in protecting the brain. The sphenoid bone is supposed to be developed like a butterfly. It is made up of a body, two pterygoid processes, and paired larger and lesser wings.


The sphenoid bone is divided into three sections: a core body with the Sella Turcica, two bigger wings, and two lesser wings laterally. The front regions of both middle fossae are made up of bigger wings, whereas the posterior portion of the anterior cranial fossae is made up of smaller wings.


The medial and lateral pterygoid muscles connect to the medial and lateral pterygoid processes on the sphenoid bone, facilitating jaw movement. The pterygoid or Vidian's canal can be seen inferomedial to the foramen rotundum when looking at the sphenoid bone from the front.


Empty Sella Syndrome

In many cases, Sella Turcica ends up facing issues; one such is the Empty Sella syndrome. The disorder known as empty Sella syndrome or the Sella Turcica pituitary gland occurs when the pituitary gland shrinks. The pituitary gland is a tiny gland that sits right under the brain. The pituitary stalk connects it to the bottom of the brain. The pituitary is housed in the Sella Turcica, a saddle-like compartment in the skull. On an MRI scan, the pituitary gland shrinks or flattens, and it is not visible. This gives the pituitary gland's location the appearance of an "empty Sella." 


However, the Sella isn't empty. It's frequently stuffed with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord is known as CSF. CSF has spilled into the Sella Turcica, placing pressure on the pituitary in empty Sella syndrome. The gland shrinks or flattens as a result of this. One can view this flattening through the Sella Turcica radiography system and analyze the syndrome.


The Sella Turcica radiology also showcases the size of the Turcica. The size of the Sella Turcica may be determined using radiographs in several ways, including linear measures and different area and volume measurements. The vertical size varies typically from 4 to 12 mm, whereas the anteroposterior dimension typically ranges from 5 to 16 mm.


Sella Turcica is an important portion of the human body and should be learned carefully to understand its uses.

Last updated date: 27th Sep 2023
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FAQs on Sella Turcica

1. What is the Importance of Sella Turcica?

Ans: On lateral cephalometric radiographs, the Sella Turcica is a visible structure, and the Sella point is commonly traced for various cephalometric analyses. The Sella Turcica bone region is critical for neural crest cell migration to the frontonasal and maxillary developmental fields during embryological development. The establishment and growth of the Sella Turcica and teeth are aided by neural crest cells.

2. What sits in the Sella Turcica?

Ans: The pituitary gland is a tiny gland that sits right under the brain. The pituitary stalk connects it to the bottom of the brain. The pituitary is housed in the Sella Turcica, a saddle-like compartment in the skull.

3. What is Empty Sella Syndrome?

Ans: At the base of your brain, there's a little bony nook protecting your pituitary gland. The Sella Turcica is the name for this little building.


The Sella Turcica is formed in such a way that spinal fluid can leak into it in a limited proportion of persons. Because the pituitary gland is squashed flat by spinal fluid, it seems that your Sella Turcica is empty. Primary Empty Sella syndrome is the name for this disorder.


Due to the surgery or radiation for a tumor or a traumatic head injury, your pituitary gland may be flattened or tiny. This is referred to as secondary ESS.


Some of the symptoms of ESS are-

  • Headaches

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Infertility

  • Low sex drive

4. What Passes through Sella Turcica?

Ans: The diaphragma Sellae, a tiny circular dural shelf, creates a roof over the Sella Turcica, almost fully covering the pituitary gland. The pituitary stalk is transmitted through a variable-sized central hole in the diaphragma Sella.