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.
 Imaging Findings for Craniopharyngioma
- 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.
- 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.
Patient #1: Adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma in a pediatric patient
 See Also
 External Links
 References for Craniopharyngioma
- Sahar N. Saleem, Ahmed-Hesham M. Said, and Donald H. Lee. Lesions of the Hypothalamus: MR Imaging Diagnostic Features. RadioGraphics 2007 27: 1087-1108.
- E-medicine radiology article on craniopharyngioma.