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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 2019 February;63(1):83-7

DOI: 10.23736/S0390-5616.17.04171-6

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Treatment strategies for craniopharyngiomas

Malte OTTENHAUSEN, Kavelin RUMALLA, Emanuele LA CORTE, Andrew ALALADE, Prakash NAIR, Jonathan FORBES, Atef BEN NSIR, Theodore H. SCHWARTZ

Department of Neurological Surgery, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA


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Craniopharyniomas arise from the sellar region and are particularly challenging because of their close proximity to critical neurovascular structures, including cranial nerves, brainstem, internal carotid arteries, posterior cerebral arteries, hypothalamus, and the pituitary gland. The tumors are benign on histology but can cause serious symptoms by compression of surrounding vital structures. While radical surgery and gross total resection (GTR) remains the first line treatment, choosing the optimal surgical approach is critical for the minimization of complications and postoperative morbidity. The extended endoscopic endonasal approach (EEEA) offers a direct route towards the sellar and suprasellar regions and has proven to be a safe and effective for GTR, with lower rates of complications and postoperative morbidity than open transcranial approaches. However, traditional transcranial approaches remain relevant in tumors with significant lateral extension. Radiotherapy can be considered in cases of subtotal resection (STR) or if surgery is not possible, although progressive growth of cysts with neurological deterioration has been demonstrated no infrequently. Newly developed chemotherapy for papillary craniopharygniomas might expand treatment options in the future.


KEY WORDS: Craniopharyngioma - Endoscopy - Therapy - Surgery

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