Empty sella syndrome (ESS) is characterized by an enlarged bony structure (sella turcica) that houses the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland may initially appear to be missing when imaging tests of the area are done. In primary ESS, the pituitary gland is usually flattened down along the contours of the sella turcica. It is associated with obesity and high blood pressure in women. Primary ESS may also be associated with a buildup of fluid in the brain. In secondary ESS, the pituitary may be small due to injury, radiation therapy, or surgery..
There may not be any symptoms of empty sella syndrome, or symptoms, such as impotence, reduced sexual desire, and irregular menstruation, may occur. Symptoms vary from person to person and depend on age and what caused the syndrome.
In addition to a complete medical history and medical examination, diagnostic procedures for empty sella syndrome may include:
The symptoms of empty sella syndrome may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis.
Specific treatment for empty sella syndrome will be determined by your doctor based on:
If there are no other symptoms, and if the pituitary gland is not enlarged, treatment may not be necessary for empty sella syndrome.
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