The tumors of the sella region in man always have been a challenge to pathologists, endocrinologists, and surgeons since the first successful operations for pituitary adenomas performed by Horsley in 1889 (Horsley, 1906), who used the transfrontal and transtemporal approaches and by Schloffer in 1907, who performed the first transnasal intervention. The challenge has been manyfold. For the surgeon it was mainly the formidable localization of the tumors surrounded by a number of important and delicate structures including the cavernous sinus, optic nerves, circle of Willis, and hypothalamus whose damage could mean death or invalidism to the patient. For the clinician it was the bifold symptomatology: 1. neurological signs caused by damage to the cranial nerves located above and lateral to the sella or by compression of the cerebrospinal fluid pathways and 2. signs of increased or decreased endocrinological activity of the adenohypophysis and neurohypophysis. For the pathologist the origin of the neoplasms from all three germinal layers (neuro-ectoderm, entoderm and mesoderm) resulted in a large variety of basically different histological pictures: pituitary adenomas, craniopharyngiomas, meningiomas, and granular cell tumors of the posterior lobe.
KeywordsPituitary Adenoma Cavernous Sinus Posterior Lobe Granular Cell Tumor Germinal Layer
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