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Eur J Orthod. 2007 Oct;29(5):449-56.

A cephalometric morphometric study of the sella turcica.

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Orthodontic Department, School of Dentistry, University of Athens, Greece.


The purpose of this study was to use quantitative methods to measure the size and shape of the sella turcica and thus establish normative reference standards that could assist in a more objective evaluation and detection of pathological conditions. Standardized lateral cephalograms of 184 healthy Greeks (91 males and 93 females) were used. The age range was between 6 and 17 years. Conventional measurements included three different heights of the sella turcica (anterior, posterior, median), its length, and width, measured in relation to the Frankfort reference line. In addition, the area of sella turcica was calculated. Morphometric methods were used to assess shape. The tracings were superimposed using the Procrustes method, and the average shape was computed. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to assess shape variability. The data were correlated with centroid size, age, and gender. Unpaired t-tests were used to determine gender differences. Sella height anteriorly was the only variable found to be significantly different between the genders, being larger in females by 0.5 mm. Linear and area measurements were found to be significantly correlated with age, but all correlations were low (r(2) below 8 per cent). Sella turcica shape, as described by PCA, was different between males and females, mainly at the posterior aspect of the sella outline. However, although there was an extensive overlap between the genders, and differences were minimal. Age was not found to be correlated with the shape coefficients, although, in the female group, the first principal component of shape was marginally not significant. Allometry was observed in both genders, the sella showing a tendency towards a flatter and wider shape with increase in size. The results of this study constitute quantitative reference data that could be used for objective evaluation of sella shape.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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