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Empty Sella Syndrome

Types of Empty Sella Syndrome

There are two types of empty sella syndrome:
  • Primary
  • Secondary.
Primary Empty Sella Syndrome
Primary empty sella syndrome occurs when a small defect above the pituitary gland increases pressure in the sella turcica and causes the gland to flatten out along the interior walls of the sella turcica cavity.
Secondary Empty Sella Syndrome
Secondary empty sella syndrome is the result of the pituitary gland shrinking within the cavity after an injury, surgery, or radiation therapy.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of primary empty sella syndrome can include:
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure (in women)
  • Headaches
  • Chronic runny nose
  • Buildup of fluid pressure inside the skull
  • Smaller-than-usual pituitary gland
  • Problems with vision.
Individuals with secondary empty sella syndrome have symptoms that reflect the loss of pituitary functions, such as:
  • A stoppage of menstrual periods (in women)
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Intolerance to stress and infection.
In children, the disorder may be associated with:
  • Early onset of puberty
  • Growth hormone deficiency
  • Pituitary tumors
  • Pituitary gland problems.
These possible symptoms are not always clear indications of the condition. Other problems can cause some or all of these symptoms. Anyone with possible symptoms should see their doctor so that the condition can be diagnosed and treated right away.
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