open access

Vol 64, No 4 (2005)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2005-09-20
Submitted: 2012-02-06
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A new morphometric method for the sella turcica and the hypophyseal fossa and its clinical relevance

Venieratos D, Anagnostopoulou S, Garidou A
Folia Morphol 2005;64(4):240-247.

open access

Vol 64, No 4 (2005)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Published online: 2005-09-20
Submitted: 2012-02-06

Abstract

The sella turcica and the hypophyseal fossa should be considered different entities, the latter being part of the former. Their morphology and dimensions correlate to some extent with those of the contained pituitary gland and have, for this reason, attracted the interest of anatomists and radiologists. With the application of MRI, however, these data are of limited use in the diagnosis of pituitary disorders, although they remain valuable with regard to a microsurgical approach to the hypophysis.
The proposed morphometric method was applied to 20 dry skulls. We first made casts of the corresponding sellae. Their volumes were then measured by immersion. The frontal section of each hypophyseal fossa was obtained through its deepest point and magnified. The Cartesian co-ordinates of the contour of the section were used to evaluate the corresponding area and centroid. The volume of each fossa was finally obtained by the use of Pappus’ theorem applied to solids of rotation.
The volumes of the sellae obtained as above ranged from 460 mm3 to 1570 mm3 with a mean value of 835 mm3. These figures are comparable to those reported from previous authors. To our knowledge the method described has enabled a close approximation of the volumes of the hypophyseal fossae to be made for the first time. These volumes ranged from 24 mm3 to 300 mm3, with a mean value of 157 mm3. Similar numerical methods might be applicable in vivo by the use of MR imaging.

Abstract

The sella turcica and the hypophyseal fossa should be considered different entities, the latter being part of the former. Their morphology and dimensions correlate to some extent with those of the contained pituitary gland and have, for this reason, attracted the interest of anatomists and radiologists. With the application of MRI, however, these data are of limited use in the diagnosis of pituitary disorders, although they remain valuable with regard to a microsurgical approach to the hypophysis.
The proposed morphometric method was applied to 20 dry skulls. We first made casts of the corresponding sellae. Their volumes were then measured by immersion. The frontal section of each hypophyseal fossa was obtained through its deepest point and magnified. The Cartesian co-ordinates of the contour of the section were used to evaluate the corresponding area and centroid. The volume of each fossa was finally obtained by the use of Pappus’ theorem applied to solids of rotation.
The volumes of the sellae obtained as above ranged from 460 mm3 to 1570 mm3 with a mean value of 835 mm3. These figures are comparable to those reported from previous authors. To our knowledge the method described has enabled a close approximation of the volumes of the hypophyseal fossae to be made for the first time. These volumes ranged from 24 mm3 to 300 mm3, with a mean value of 157 mm3. Similar numerical methods might be applicable in vivo by the use of MR imaging.
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Keywords

Pituitary; hypophyseal; macroadenoma; empty sella; Pappus’ theorem; solid of rotation

About this article
Title

A new morphometric method for the sella turcica and the hypophyseal fossa and its clinical relevance

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 64, No 4 (2005)

Pages

240-247

Published online

2005-09-20

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2005;64(4):240-247.

Keywords

Pituitary
hypophyseal
macroadenoma
empty sella
Pappus’ theorem
solid of rotation

Authors

Venieratos D
Anagnostopoulou S
Garidou A

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