Craniopharyngioma

Also known as: adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma, ordinary craniopharyngioma, papillary craniopharyngioma, Rathke pouch tumor, hypophyseal duct tumor, adamantinoma

What is a craniopharyngioma?

A craniopharyngioma is a non-cancerous brain tumor that develops from cells present during early brain development, and in childhood frequently presents between the ages of 5-14 years. It causes problems because it can grow and press on other parts of the brain (or glands near it) which are involved with sight and hormone production.

What causes craniopharyngioma?
At present while it appears that some chromosomal or genetic abnormalities have been described associated with these tumors, no clear cause has been identified.

What are the symptoms of craniopharyngioma?
Symptoms may include headache, vomiting, vision loss, symptoms of growth hormone and other endocrine gland deficiencies, seizures, mental changes (and other symptoms from brain involvement) and a presentation called "diencephalic syndrome" (which your pediatrician will need to outline for you).

What are craniopharyngioma care options?
Medical care involves managing the hormone problems with hormone replacement therapies; tumor control with chemotherapy (and other medical agents); and radiation. Surgery to remove the tumor (with or without other therapies) is common though difficult.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 5/23/2018 10:34:57 AM


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