Tuberculum sellae meningiomas: clinical manifestation, radiologic diagnosis, surgery and visual outcome

Zhonghua Yi Xue Za Zhi (Taipei). 1998 Jan;61(1):1-7.


Background: Most patients with tuberculum sellae meningioma (TSM) present with visual symptoms mimicking a pituitary macroadenoma. Accurate preoperative differentiation is important because TSM requires a craniotomy, whereas the transsphenoidal route is preferred for removal of most pituitary macroadenomas.

Methods: From 1989 to 1994, five patients with TSM were treated at Taichung Veterans General Hospital. All were female, ranging in age from 20 to 60 years. This paper is a retrospective review of clinical features, diagnostic methods, treatment and postoperative visual recovery.

Results: The most common symptom, with a duration of one month to two years, was asymmetrical visual loss. Abnormal endocrine levels were found in one patient (prolactin: 47.91 ng/ml). Another patient was misdiagnosed as having a pituitary adenoma by coronal view computed tomography (CT) and underwent a transsphenoidal operation. Later, an accurate diagnosis was made using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). She then underwent another operation--unilateral subfrontal craniotomy with total removal of the tumor. The other patients were preoperatively diagnosed as having meningioma by MRI. They also underwent unilateral subfrontal craniotomy with total removal of tumor. All patients showed good visual improvement after their operation. The extent of visual improvement was closely related to the duration of preoperative visual loss. There was no tumor recurrence after a follow-up period of six months to five years (mean, two years and six months).

Conclusions: It should be emphasized that the diagnosis of TSM must first be based on clinical symptoms and signs, or "chiasma-syndrome". It can be accurately diagnosed preoperatively by sagittal view MRI. Early diagnosis will increase the chances of a good postoperative visual outcome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / surgery
  • Meningioma / diagnosis*
  • Meningioma / physiopathology
  • Meningioma / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vision, Ocular