Sellar and Parasellar Pain Syndromes

  • Ajay P. AbadEmail author
Neuroimaging (L. Mechtler, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Neuroimaging


Purpose of Review

Sellar and parasellar lesions are numerous and varying in terms of their patholphysiology and physical and radiographic characteristics but often incite pain syndromes that are similar in semiology. The goal of this review was to familiarize the reader with a variety of sellar and parasellar lesions grouped together based on common clinical symptomatology, with a focus on important imaging characteristics that are often distinguishing features diagnostically.

Recent Findings

In most cases, tissue acquisition via surgical resection or stereotactic biopsy are the mainstay for definitive diagnosis of sellar and parasellar lesions. With advances in MRI technology in particular in terms of resolution and the inclusion of new techniques including dynamic imaging with delayed contrast, imaging studies of lesions in the sellar and parasellar regions have become increasingly important for diagnostic purposes, with pituitary adenomas and schwannomas as prime examples. In the case of chordoid gliomas, molecular features of the tumor also help distinguish it from other disease processes similar in presentation, which have dramatic impacts on management. Advances in surgical approaches and radiation techniques offer more precise and targeted therapy to lesions in an area with increased risk of clinical morbidity given the high concentration of critically important structures that must be spared during treatment.


Sellar and parasellar lesions have the potential to cause significant morbidity and mortality, highlighting the importance of clinical recognition of warning signs/symptoms, obtaining high-quality imaging studies in various modalities for diagnostic purposes, and prompt management which often involves a multimodal approach that includes surgical resection, radiation, and/or medical therapy. Future advanced imaging techniques will only improve presurgical diagnostic accuracy and lead to more prompt and efficient management.


Sellar and parasellar lesions Sellar and parasellar imaging Intracranial pressure headaches Chemical meningitis 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Ajay P. Abad declares no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer CenterBuffaloUSA

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