Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(2):134-141. doi:10.7150/ijms.7137 This issue

Research Paper

Anatomical Analysis on the Lateral Bone Window of the Sella Turcica: A Study on 530 Adult Dry Skull Base Specimens

Jianxin WANG1*, Renzhi WANG1*, Yuntao LU2*, Yong YAO1, Songtao QI2✉

1. Department of Neurosurgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing 100730, China
2. Department of Neurosurgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical College, Guangzhou 510515, China
* These authors (Jianxin WANG, Renzhi WANG and Yuntao LU) contributed equally to this work and are the co-first authors of this article.

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WANG J, WANG R, LU Y, YAO Y, QI S. Anatomical Analysis on the Lateral Bone Window of the Sella Turcica: A Study on 530 Adult Dry Skull Base Specimens. Int J Med Sci 2014; 11(2):134-141. doi:10.7150/ijms.7137. Available from

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Objective: To investigate the morphometric characteristics of the lateral bone window (LBW) of the sella turica.

Methods: A descriptive anatomical study of LBW was performed in 530 cases of dry skull base specimens with relatively complete sella turcica. Detailed morphometric characteristics such as dimensions and calssification of the LBW was studied. All data analysis was performed using SPSS 17.0 statistical software.

Results: LBW is located in the lateral bony structures of sella turcica. The mean area sizes of the LBW were 75.99 ± 25.81 mm2 (left) and 76.00 ± 25.53 mm2 (right). There was no significant difference and there was a ​​good positive correlation between bilateral areas of the LBWs. The area size of the LBWs is graded as follows: Grade A (< 60 mm2), B (60~90 mm2) and C (> 90 mm2). LBW morphology was typed as follows: Type I, II, III, IV. And Tpye III includes Type IIIa and IIIb; Type IV includes Type IVa, IVb, IVc, IVd.

Conclusions: The lateral bone window of sella turcica is an important structure located between pituiary fossa and parasellar region. The morphological measurements and variations of LBW in this study will provide preliminary data for further anatomical study of sella turcica. Moreover, knowing detailed anatomy of this region is essential for neurosurgeons who make surgery on cranial base or for teaching about the sella turcica in the neuroanatomy lab.

Keywords: Anatomy, Lateral bone window, Sella turcica, Clinoid process, Sella turcica bridge, Clinical significance