A cephalometric morphometric study of age- and gender-dependent shape patterns of the sella turcica
The sella turcica is an important anatomic and radiologic entity. The shape of the sella turcica varies among normal individuals and can be influenced by local factors. The normal shape of sella turcica has been categorized as circular, oval, and flat, and several variants have been described. The sella turcica increases in size with age, but there is no agreement upon significance of gender-related differences. The main objective of this study is to build up a normative database of the shape of the sella turcica in the Jordanian population with reference to age and gender. For this purpose 509 computed cephalograms: 252 males and 257 females, aged 10 to 40 years old healthy Jordanians were collected and divided into adolescent and adult age groups in both genders. Viewbox 3 software was used to determine width and height, and shape of the sella turcica was accordingly assessed. Variants of shape were also documented. Our results showed that females exhibit higher percentage of overall normal shape but lower relative percentages of oval and flat shapes, as compared with males. In contrast to males, females also show decreasing trend of normal shape as age advances. Females and males change obviously in favor of oval shape. In terms of variants, as individuals advance in age, bridging and irregular dorsum clearly predominate. In terms of width and height, significant differences were evident between adult male group on one hand and adolescent female group and adult female group on the other hand. Between age categories and within male and female groups, sella linear dimensions were significantly different between adolescent and adult age groups. The significant increase of linear parameters of sella turcica across age groups indicates that there is significant degree of growth in sella turcica across the studied age groups. However, this growth does not affect the shape of sella turcica as the shape seems to be preserved across the studied age groups. The obtained data are discussed in terms of age- and gender-related growth and degenerative bone changes.