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Clin Neurol Neurosurg. 2007 Feb;109(2):111-24. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Imaging of sellar and parasellar lesions.

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Department of Neuroradiology, University Hospital of Erlangen Medical School, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Schwabachanlage 6, D-91054 Erlangen, Germany.


The sellar and parasellar region is an anatomically complex area where a number of neoplastic, infectious, inflammatory, developmental and vascular pathologies can occur. Differentiation among various etiologies may not always be easy, since many of these lesions may mimic the clinical, endocrinologic and radiologic presentations of pituitary adenomas. The diagnosis of sellar lesions involves a multidisciplinary effort, and detailed endocrinologic, ophthalmologic and neurologic testing are essential. CT and, mainly, MRI are the imaging modalities to study and characterise normal anatomy and the majority of pathologic processes in this region. We here provide an overview of the most relevant MRI and CT characteristics together with clinical findings of pituitary tumors, vascular, inflammatory and infectious lesions found in the sellar/parasellar region in order to propose an appropriate differential diagnosis.

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