, Volume 32, Issue 6, pp 573-580
Date: 13 Dec 2009

The thin sectional anatomy of the sellar region with MRI correlation

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The purpose of this study was to explore the anatomical complexity and adjacent relationships of the sellar region in thin continuous sections so as to provide intimate morphological data for imaging diagnosis and surgical operations of the diseases in this region. After CT and MR examination verifying no brain lesions, one normal cadaver head was selected for this study from four Chinese adult male cadavers. After being embedded and frozen, the head was sliced into serial sections at 0.1 mm intervals in the transverse plane with SKC 500 computerized freezing milling machine. Then the serial transverse sections were photographed by a high-resolution digital camera and saved in the computer. Subsequently, the anatomic structures of the sellar region on the thin transverse sections were investigated and correlated with the MR images of the specimen as well as in vivo MR images, which were obtained from 20 normal Chinese male adult volunteers by a 3.0 T GE MR scanner. The base lines of the sectioning and the MR scan were all parallel to the AC-PC line. A total of 320 transverse sections and 10–12 transverse MR images related with the sellar region were obtained, respectively. We investigated the sectional anatomy of the sellar region and divided it into three parts: supra hypophysial area, hypophysial area and infra hypophysial area. The cavernous sinus was a venous passage full of blood and it could be divided into four interspaces according to its position relation with the internal carotid artery. The third, fourth, sixth cranial nerves and trigeminal branches ophthalmic nerve, maxillary nerve displayed from the anterior to the posterior in the lateral wall of cavernous sinus in transverse planes. Comparing continuous thin sections with MR images offers a better understanding of the complex anatomical structures and provides practical submillimeter anatomical data for imaging diagnosis and clinical treatment in this region.