This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Empty sella syndrome (ESS) is a condition that involves the sella turcica, a bony structure at the base of the brain that protects the pituitary gland. There is a primary and secondary form of the condition. The primary form occurs when a structural defect above the pituitary gland increases pressure in the sella turcica and causes the gland to flatten. The secondary form occurs when the pituitary gland is damaged due to injury, a tumor, surgery or radiation therapy. Some people with ESS have no symptoms. People with secondary ESS may have symptoms of decreased pituitary function such as absence of menstruation, infertility, fatigue, and intolerance to stress and infection. In children, ESS may be associated with early onset of puberty, growth hormone deficiency, pituitary tumors, or pituitary gland dysfunction. Treatment focuses on the symptoms present in each person.
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