Clinical features of sellar and suprasellar meningiomas

Ratchaneewan Kwancharoen, Ari M. Blitz, Fabiana Tavares, Patrizio Caturegli, Gary L. Gallia, Roberto Salvatori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Meningiomas account for about 1 % of sellar masses. Although they can mimic pituitary adenomas, they are more vascularized and invasive. To gain insights that would enhance our ability to establish a pre-surgical diagnosis of meningioma, we performed a retrospective study of these tumors. Query of the surgical pathology database identified 1,516 meningiomas operated at out institution between January 2000 and May 2012. Cases were matched to the radiology database to identify a strictly defined sellar and/or suprasellar location. We identified 57 meningiomas. F:M ratio was 6:1. The mean age was 52 years (median 50, range 30-78). The most common symptoms were visual disturbance (58 %), headache (16 %) and incidental finding (12 %). The mean duration of symptoms was 13 months. Hyperprolactinemia was found in 36 %, with mean value of 51.6 ng/ml (median 41.8, range 22.5-132). Mean maximal diameter was 2.9 cm (median 2.7, range 0.9-6.8), and most tumors enhanced homogeneously on MRI after gadolinium. A "dural tail" sign was reported in a third. The radiologist reported "likely meningioma" in 65 %, "possible meningioma" in 8.7 %, and pituitary adenoma in 11 %. After surgery, visual disturbances improved in most patients (80 %) but headache only in 7 %. Post-operative complications at 1 and 3 months occurred 38.6 and 33.3 % respectively. There was no mortality. Sellar/suprasellar meningiomas represent 4 % of all meningiomas, and have a particularly high female predominance. The diagnosis is suggested by the radiologist in approximately 2/3 of the cases. An improved method to differentiate preoperatively these tumors from adenomas would be desirable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-348
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Meningioma
  • Sellar
  • Suprasellar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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