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Am J Med Genet. 1998 Feb 26;76(1):87-92.

Pituitary gland and sella turcica in human trisomy 18 fetuses.

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1
Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to elucidate the phenotypic conditions in the sella turcica/pituitary gland complex in human trisomy 18 fetuses. Fourteen human fetuses with gestational ages from 12 to 39 weeks were included in the study. Normal fetuses at corresponding ages were used as controls. Whole body and special radiographic examination was undertaken before the midsagittal cranial base block, including the pituitary gland, was excised and analyzed histologically and immunohistochemically (keratin wide spectrum [KWS], thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH], and neurophysin [Nph]). In all trisomy 18 fetuses, TSH-positive adenopituitary tissue was present in the sella and in greater or lesser amounts pharyngeally. The neurohypophysis was Nph-positive and located normally in the sella turcica. The adenohypophyseal tissue reacted either KWS-faint or KWS-negative, whereas KWS-positive reaction occurs in normal fetuses. This circumstance might suggest an altered cytoskeletal structure of the surface ectoderm in the pituitary placode in trisomy 18. The sella turcica was malformed in all the fetuses. Very broad craniopharyngeal canals were observed in some of the fetuses. Because endocrine disorders occur in many congenital malformations, it is essential in future studies to chart the sella turcica/pituitary gland region systematically in different genotypes.

PMID:
9508072
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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