Empty sella syndrome
|Empty sella syndrome|
|Classification and external resources|
ESS can be found in the radiological workup of pituitary disorders, or as an incidental finding on radiology for another condition.
There are two types of ESS: primary and secondary.
- Primary ESS happens when a small anatomical 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. Primary ESS is associated with obesity and high blood pressure in women. The disorder can be a sign of idiopathic intracranial hypertension.
- Secondary ESS is the result of the pituitary gland regressing within the cavity after an injury, surgery, or radiation therapy. Individuals with secondary ESS due to destruction of the pituitary gland have symptoms that reflect the loss of pituitary functions, such as the ceasing of menstrual periods, infertility, fatigue, and intolerance to stress and infection.
Associated conditions and diagnosis
MRI scans are useful in evaluating ESS and differentiating it from other disorders that produce an enlarged sella.
Unless the syndrome results in other medical problems, treatment for endocrine dysfunction associated with pituitary malfunction is symptomatic and supportive. In some cases, surgery may be needed.
ESS is not a life-threatening illness.