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Primary Empty Sella Syndrome With CSF Rhinorrhea

Edward L. Applebaum, MD; Narendra M. Desai, MD
JAMA. 1980;244(14):1606-1608. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310140064035.
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BUSCH1 originally used the term "empty sella" for autopsy cases in which the pituitary gland formed only a thin layer of tissue at the bottom of the sella turcica with associated absence, or incompetence, of the diaphragma sellae. Lee and Adams2 used the term "empty sella syndrome" when referring to patients with pituitary tumors treated by surgery or radiation therapy who later had visual dysfunction without evidence of tumor recurrence. In 1968, Ommaya et al3 reported the first two cases of CSF rhinorrhea associated with the empty sella syndrome.

Report of a Case  A 52-year-old, moderately obese, hypertensive woman was seen at the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago, with unilateral, left-sided, watery rhinorrhea of six months' duration. Three months previously, she had been treated for meningitis in another hospital and discharged without evaluation of the nasal discharge. There was no history of head trauma.A left-sided, profuse,


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