Craniopharyngioma

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[edit] Discussion of Craniopharyngioma

  • Craniopharyngiomas derive from remnants of the craniopharyngeal duct.
  • They are benign, extra-axial, slow-growing tumor that predominately involves the sella and suprasellar space.
  • The prevalence of craniopharyngiomas peaks between 10 and 14 years of age, with a second peak occurring in the fourth to sixth decades of life.
  • Males are more commonly affected than females.
  • Craniopharyngiomas are divided histologically into two types: adamantinomatous (pediatric) and papillary (adult) types.


[edit] Imaging Findings for Craniopharyngioma

[edit] CT

  • Adamantinomatous-type tumor appears as a predominately cystic mass with a solid component (>90%).
  • The solid component appears isoattenuating and usually contains calcifications (>80%).
  • The sella may be expansile
  • Hydrocephalus may be present
  • Contrast enhancement is characteristic of the solid component and cyst wall (90% cases)


  • Papillary type is usually solid, isoattenuating, and rarely calcified.


[edit] MRI

  • Adamantinomatous subtype appears as a predominately cystic suprasellar mass with a solid component.
  • Characteristic calcifications may not be discernible, though gradient-echo (GRE) images may show susceptibility effects from calcified components.
  • Cystic areas appear hyperintense on T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images with heterogeneous isointense-to-hypointense solid components.
  • The cystic areas may be iso-, hyper-, or hypointense relative to brain tissue with T1-weighted sequences.

[edit] Images

Patient #1: Adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma in a pediatric patient

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

[edit] References for Craniopharyngioma