What Is Empty Sella Syndrome?

By katherine
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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The pituitary gland sits in an area of the skull known as the sella turcica, a small indentation in the sphenoid bone at the base of a human skull. Empty sella syndrome refers to the visible absence or flattened appearance of the pituitary gland in MRI imaging. However, the sella turcica is not empty at all; it is entirely or partially filled with cerebrospinal fluid.

A diagnosis of any condition, or a concern over its potential development, is disheartening and worrisome. Most people do not have a common knowledge of diseases and medical disorders, especially rarely diagnosed conditions like empty sella syndrome. It is natural for potential and diagnosed patients to have many questions about treatments, causes and potential cures. The following 10 questions can answer the most pertinent questions about this disorder and hopefully put your mind at ease.

1. What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Empty Sella Syndrome?

Most people with empty sella syndrome are asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms of the condition. However, a few patients may suffer from chronic headaches, vision problems or spinal fluid leaking from the nose. The condition leads to increased cranial pressure, which is likely the reason for headaches. The disorder can also cause swelling of the optic nerve, leading to blurry vision. However, researchers explain that some of these symptoms, like headaches, may link to high blood pressure, which is common in empty sella patients.

While any physical symptoms are rare, there are at least two more associated problems that are even rarer. Some patients suffer from vertigo or dizziness, and, in the most unique cases and likely in combination with another diagnosis, empty sella patients may experience seizures. Again, the likelihood of having any of these symptoms is low as patients with this condition are typically asymptomatic.

Empty Sella Syndrome

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