Parasellar tumors: suprasellar and cavernous sinuses

Top Magn Reson Imaging. 2005 Jul;16(4):307-15. doi: 10.1097/01.rmr.0000224687.29371.9a.


This article will review the presentation and imaging appearance of tumors affecting the area around the pituitary gland. For convenience, the lesions will be discussed in order of the regions they usually affect. For example, lesions affecting the suprasellar region include craniopharyngiomas, optic or hypothalamic gliomas, germ cell tumors, epidermoids, dermoids, hamartomas, lipomas, and choristomas. Tumors that commonly affect the parasellar cavernous sinus include schwannomas and meningiomas. Tumors like chordomas may arise in the sphenoid bone or clivus and affect the sella. Metastasis, meningiomas and aneurysms may involve any area around the sella. For a detailed discussion of normal anatomy and imaging protocols, see the first article of this monograph.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cavernous Sinus / diagnostic imaging
  • Cavernous Sinus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Radiography
  • Sella Turcica / diagnostic imaging
  • Sella Turcica / pathology*
  • Skull Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skull Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging