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Childhood Craniopharyngioma Treatment (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version
Last Modified: 01/27/2014

Diagnostic Evaluation of Childhood Craniopharyngioma

The results of imaging studies (computerized tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging [MRI] scans) are often diagnostic for childhood craniopharyngiomas, with most demonstrating intratumoral calcifications and a solid and cystic component. The most common location is suprasellar, with an intrasellar portion. Craniopharyngiomas without calcification may be confused with other tumor types, such as germinoma or hypothalamic/chiasmatic astrocytoma, and biopsy may be required.[1] MRI of the spinal axis is not routinely performed.

Apart from imaging, patients often undergo formal visual examination including visual field evaluation and endocrine testing.

References
  1. Rossi A, Cama A, Consales A, et al.: Neuroimaging of pediatric craniopharyngiomas: a pictorial essay. J Pediatr Endocrinol Metab 19 (Suppl 1): 299-319, 2006.  [PUBMED Abstract]