Pituitary Glossary

We have created a list of terms that are important in understanding pituitary diseases. This is a work in progress and new terms will be added over time

Bitemporal hemianopsia

A condition of vision loss in the outer half of both eyes. It is associated with tumors that impinge upon the optic chiasm.

Cranial nerves

Nerves that emerge directly from the brain. This is different from spinal nerves which arise from segments of the spinal cord. There are 12 cranial nerves total. A patient may develop symptoms from a brain tumor related to where the tumor is growing in relation to one or more of these nerves.

Optic Chiasm

A persons ability to see is created on the left and right back portions of the brain. The signals from the eye travel via the optic nerve, also known as cranial nerve #2, from each eye to the back of the brain on the opposite side from where it started. Thus, the optic nerve has a crossing over point which is the chiasm. This is optic chiasm is located above the pituitary gland.

Sella Turcica

The saddle shaped depression in the sphenoid bone at the base of the skull. The pituitary gland sits within this depression.