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The sella turcica (literally Turkish Chair) is a saddle-shaped depression in the sphenoid bone of the human skull and of the skulls of other Hominidae including humans, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.
The seat of the saddle is known as the hypophyseal fossa, which holds the pituitary gland. The hypophyseal fossa is located in a depression in the body of the sphenoid bone. Located anteriorly to the hypophyseal fossa is the tuberculum sellae.
Completing the formation of the saddle posteriorly is the dorsum sellae which is continuous with the clivus, inferoposteriorly. The dorsum sellae is terminated laterally by the posterior clinoid processes.
Since the sella turcica forms a bony caudal border for the pituitary gland, a pituitary tumor usually extends upward in the rostral direction into the suprasellar region. This can result in compression of the optic chiasm, which lies on top of the pituitary, enveloping the pituitary stalk. Compression of the optic chiasm can lead to bitemporal hemianopsia, and, when there is no relevant trauma, this clinical finding is pathognomonic for a pituitary tumor.
Some pituitary adenomas can extend inferiorly, growing downward and invading the sphenoid bone and cavernous sinus.Adenomas greater than 10mm (macroadenomas) can cause remodeling of the underlying sphenoid bone altering the shape of the sella turcica.
Sella turcica is usually used as a reference point with nasion to establish the base of the skull in cephalometric analysis. This is commonly done prior to orthodontic treatment.
- Sphenoidal sinuses
- Empty sella syndrome
- Knosp E, Steiner E, Kitz K, et al. Pituitary adenomas with invasion of the cavernous sinus space: a magnetic resonance imaging classification compared with surgical findings. Neurosurgery. 1993 Oct;33(4):610-7; discussion 617-8. PMID 8232800
- Proffit, William R.. Contemporary Orthodontics, 4th Edition. C.V. Mosby, 122006. 22.214.171.124). vbk:978-0-323-04046-4#outline(126.96.36.199)
- Marieb, Elaine Nicpon (2004). Human Anatomy & Physiology, 6th, Pearson Education.
occipital bone: Foramen magnum | Squama occipitalis (Inion | Nuchal lines | Planum occipitale | Planum nuchale | Cruciform eminence | Internal occipital protuberance | Sagittal sulcus | Internal occipital crest)
parietal bone: Parietal eminence | Temporal line | Parietal foramen
frontal bone: Squama frontalis (Frontal suture | Frontal eminence | Superciliary arches | Glabella | Supraorbital foramen | Zygomatic process | Sagittal sulcus | Frontal crest | Foramen cecum)
temporal bone: Squama temporalis (Articular tubercle | Suprameatal triangle | Mandibular fossa | Petrotympanic fissure) | Mastoid portion (Mastoid foramen
sphenoid bone: Sphenoidal sinuses | Ethmoidal spine | Optic foramen | Sella turcica | Fossa hypophyseos | Dorsum sellae | Posterior clinoid processes | Carotid groove | Lingula sphenoidalis | Sphenoidal conchæ | Great wings (Spina angularis | Foramen rotundum | Foramen ovale | Foramen Vesalii | Foramen spinosum | Infratemporal crest | Sulcus tubae auditivae | Small wings | Superior orbital fissure | Anterior clinoid process | Optic foramen)
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