Morphometric analysis of sella turcica in North Indian population: a radiological study

Puja Chauhan, Sunita Kalra, Shashi M. Mongia, Sadakat Ali, Anurag Anurag


Background:The purpose of this study was to describe the morphology and measure the size of the sella turcica in North Indian population.

Methods:Lateral cephalometric radiographs of 180 individuals (90 males and 90 females) with an age range of 12 - 65 years were taken. Morphology of sella turcica was studied and various measurements were taken to determine the shape of the sella. Statistical analysis was done to calculate differences in dimensions and to establish if any, relationship exists between age, sex and the morphometry of sella turcica.

Results:The study found that sella turcica presented with a normal morphology in only 28 per cent of the subjects. A significant difference in linear dimensions between genders was found in sella height and width. When age was evaluated, some dimensions showed negative correlation with the age. Sella size of the older age group was as a rule larger than the younger age.

Conclusion: Pathological enlargement of the pituitary fossa can be detected by this technique and may also be helpful in providing data in the assessment of racial, gender, age specific variation in the skull.


Morphometry, Sella turcica, Morphology

Full Text:



Friedland B, Meazzini MC. Incidental finding of an enlarged sella turcica on a lateral cephalogram. Am J Orthodont Dentofac Orthoped. 1996;110:508-12.

Feldkamp J, Santen R, Harms E, Aulich A, Mödder U, Scherbaum WA. Incidentally discovered pituitary lesions: high frequency of macroadenomas and hormone-secreting adenomas: results of a prospective study. Clin Endocrinol. 1999;51:109-13.

Alkofi de E. Pituitary adenoma: a cephalometric finding. Am J Orthodont Dentofac Orthoped. 2001;120:559-62.

Camp J. Normal and pathological anatomy of the sella turcica as revealed by roentgenograms. Am J Roentgenol. 1924;12:143-55.

Silverman FN. Roentgen standards for size of the pituitary fossa from infancy through adolescence. Am J Roentgenol. 1957;78:451-60.

Chilton LA, Dorst JP, Garn SM. The volume of the sella turcica in children: new standards. Am J Roentgenol. 1983;140:797-801.

Elster AD. Imaging of the sella: anatomy and pathology. Seminars in Ultrasound, CT, and MRI. 1993;14a:182-94.

Weisberg LA, Zimmerman EA, Frantz A. Diagnosis and evaluation of patients with enlarged sella. Am J Med. 1976;61:590-6.

Israel H. Continuing growth in sella turcica with age. Am J Roentgenol Radium Therapy Nuclear Med. 1970;108:516-27.

Pisaneschi M, Kapoor G. Imaging of the sella and parasellar region. Neuroimag Clin North Am. 2005;15:203-19.

Gordon MB, Bell AL. A roentgenographic study of the sella turcica in normal children. New York State J Med. 1922;22:54-9.

Teal JS. Radiology of the adult sella turcica. Bull Los Angeles Neurolog Soc. 1977;42:111-7.

Tetradis S, Kantor ML. Prevalence of skeletal and dental anomalies and normal variants seen in cephalometric and other radiographs of orthodontic patients. Am J Orthodont Dentofac Orthoped. 1999;116:572-7.

Davidoff LM, Epstein BS. The abnormal pneumoencephalogram. In: Davidoff LM, Epstein BS, eds. 1st ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger; 1950: 388-394.

Fournier AM, Denizet D. Omega shaped sella turcica. Marseille Med. 1965;102:503-9.

Kier EL. ‘J’ and ‘omega’ shape of sella turcica: anatomic classification of radiologic misconceptions. Act Radiol Diagnos. 1969;9:91-4.

Becktor J, Einersen S, Kjær I. A sella turcica bridge in subjects with severe craniofacial deviations. Euro J Orthodont. 2000;22:69-74.

Axelsson S, Storhaug K, Kjær I. Post-natal size and morphology of the sella turcica. Longitudinal cephalometric standards for Norwegians between 6 and 21 years of age. Euro J Orthodont. 2004;26:597-604.

Kjær I, Hansen N, Becktor KB, Birebaek N, Balslev T. Craniofacial morphology, dentition, and skeletal maturity in four siblings with seckel syndrome. Cleft Palate Craniofac J 2001;38a:645-51.

Kjær I, Wagner A, Madsen P, Blichfeldt S, Rasmussen K, Russell B. The sella turcica in children with lumbosacral myelomeningocele. Euro J Orthodont. 1998;20:443-8.

Quakinine GE, Hardy J. Microsurgical anatomy of the pituitary gland and the sellar region: the pituitary gland. Am Surg. 1987;53:285-90.

Haas LL. The size of the sella turcica by age and sex. Am J Roentgenol Radium Therapy Nuclear Med. 1954;72:754-61.

Preston CB. Pituitary fossa size and facial typ. Am J Orthodont. 1979;75:259-63.

Choi WJ, Hwang EH, Lee SR. The study of shape and size of normal sella turcica in cephalometric radiographs. Korean J Oral Maxillofac Radiol. 2001;31:43-9.

Argyropoulou M, Perignon F, Brunelle F, Brauner R, Rappaport R. Height of normal pituitary gland as a function of age evaluated by magnetic resonance imaging in children. Pediatr Radiol. 1991;21:247-9.

Cook DM. Pituitary tumors: current concepts of diagnosis and therapy. Western J Med. 1980;133:189-96.

Hall WA, Luciano MG, Doppman JL, Patronas NJ, Oldfield EH. Pituitary magnetic resonance imaging in normal human volunteers: occult adenomas in the general population. Ann Intern Med. 1994;120(10):817-20.

Chang HP, Tseng YC, Chou TM. An enlarged sella turcica on cephalometric radiograph. Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2005;34:308-12.