This study aimed to determine the anatomical and histological features of diaphragma sellae that affect the suprasellar extension of intrasellar tumours. Twenty-four fresh adult cadavers were dissected for the study. Diaphragma sellae and pituitary capsules with sellar structures were resected. The diaphragma sellae was anatomically reviewed in detail. Immunohistochemical staining was performed for collagen types I, II, Ill, and IV. We examined the suprasellar growth of 13 sellar tumours extending superiorly through the diaphragma sellae by performing a series of 2704 endoscopic transnasal operations to analyse the anatomic and histologic results of the study. The diameter of the foramen of diaphragma sellae varied between specimens. Of 24 specimens, the diaphragma sellae in five (21%) had a tight-type foramen and those in 19 (79%) were more spacious. An increased expression of collagen types I and IV was observed in the pituitary capsule and the diaphragma sellae. In this clinical series, we observed that all types of sellar tumours could expand through the foramen. We observed radiologically and intraoperatively that the diaphragma sellae was displaced laterally and formed a dome in two cases with an adenoma extending to the suprasellar area. Two types of suprasellar extension through the diaphragma sellae are possible: 1) The collagen structure of diaphragma sellae can be destroyed by invasive tumours; 2) The morphology of the foramen of the diaphragma sellae facilitates suprasellar tumoural extension. All sellar tumours, including non-invasive cystic tumours, may invade the suprasellar area by expanding through the foramen of the diaphragma sellae. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.