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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 172-175

Diverse clinical manifestations of empty sella syndrome: An imaging based study

1 Department of Radiology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
2 Department of Radiology, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nkem Nnenna Nwafor
Department of Radiology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_122_19

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Background: Empty sella is an imaging finding previously thought to be of no clinical consequence in our environment. It has been classified into primary empty sella which is related to increased intracranial pressure and secondary empty sella which is considered a sequel of previous pituitary lesions. Studies have documented various clinical manifestations which we are beginning to see in our environment. Methods: This is a retrospective study done over a three-year period between May 2016- May 2019 in a private radiodiagnostic center. The subjects presented for brain magnetic resonance imaging for diverse, chronic clinical symptoms such as chronic headaches, visual disturbances and galactorrhoea and empty sella was found on imaging. The essence of the imaging was to demonstrate or to rule out a structural cause for the clinical symptoms of the subjects. Results: Eight female subjects between the ages of 34-56 years with a mean age of 45.0 ± 11.0 years presented with chronic symptoms. The most common symptoms were headaches (n = 8, 100%), visual disturbances (n = 3, 37.5%), chronic fatigue (n = 3, 37.5%), galactorrhea (n = 2, 25%), secondary infertility (n = 2, 25%), weight gain (n = 2, 25%) and psychotic symptoms (n = 2, 25%). Imaging finding showed empty sella in all subjects. One subject had features of chronic venous infarct. Conclusion: Empty sella syndrome presents in complex ways. Most of the symptoms can be explained by increased pressure on structures around the sella which control various organs in the body. In a resource poor setting like ours, empty sella should be considered in obese female subjects with chronic headaches.

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