Surgical and Radiologic Anatomy

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 233–239 | Cite as

Relationship between the development of diaphragma sellae and the morphology of the sella turcica and its content

  • A J M Ferreri
  • S A Garrido
  • M G Markarian
  • A Yañez
Original Articles


The impaired formation of the diaphragma sellae may lead to the development of the empty-sella syndrome. This structure, when fully formed, is a protective barrier against the pulsating action that the cerebrospinal fluid exerts on the sellar content. There are anatomical features which support this belief, but they also suggest that the development of the diaphragma sellae is a factor which determines the morphology of the sella turcica and its contents. Those human specimens which do not have diaphragma sellae or in which it is only partially developed, are characterized by a smaller hypophysis, always located at the inferior and/or posterior half of the sella, with a larger sellar volume and frequently greater fragility of its bony walls. These findings, although rare (5% of the cases), are indirect signs of the important role which the diaphragma sellae plays in the sellar region.

Key words

Diaphragma sellae Empty sella Hypophysis Sella turcica 

Rapports entre la formation du diaphragme sellaire et la morphologie de la selle turcique et de son contenu


Le développement incomplet du diaphragme sellaire peut être à l'origine d'un syndrome de la selle turcique vide. Lorsque ce diaphragme est bien formée, il constitue une barrière efficace, protégeant le contenu de la selle turcique de la pression pulsatile du liquide cérébro-spinal. Des études anatomiques semblent corroborer ces données et suggèrent même que le développement du diaphragme sellaire conditionne la morphologie de la selle turcique et son contenu. C'est ainsi que l'on peut observer chez certaines personnes dont le diaphragme sellaire est absent ou partiel, l'existence d'une petite glande pituitaire qui est toujours plaquée à la partie inférieure et/ou postérieure de la selle turcique ; de surcroit, le volume de la selle est augmenté et ses parois osseuses sont plus fragiles qu'à l'accoutumée. Tous ces faits, bien que rares (5% des cas), établissent de façon indirecte le rôle important que joue le diaphragme sellaire sur la région pituitaire.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • A J M Ferreri
    • 1
  • S A Garrido
    • 1
  • M G Markarian
    • 1
  • A Yañez
    • 1
  1. 1.Teaching Unity of Prof. Dr. Isidoro Caplan, Anatomy Department, Medicine SchoolBuenos Aires University (U.B.A.), ParaguayBuenos AiresArgentina

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