Craniopharyngioma Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Dec 11, 2017
  • Author: George I Jallo, MD; Chief Editor: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS  more...
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DDx

Diagnostic Considerations

Different considerations need to be kept in mind when assessing a sellar/suprasellar lesion. Clinical manifestations can be broad, including brain stem syndromes (from mass effect or vascular etiology), endocrine disturbances, visual changes, seizures, etc. Different etiologies mandate different pre-operative evaluation (i.e., MRI, vascular imaging, endocrine profile, visual fields evaluation, etc.).

Tumors to consider in the differential diagnosis include the following:

  • Brainstem glioma
  •  Epidermoid and dermoid tumor
  •  Germ cell tumor (mainly in children and young adults)
  •  Hypothalamic-optic pathway glioma
  •  Low-grade astrocytoma
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Metastasis (mainly in the adult population)
  • Hypothalamic hamartoma
  • Pituitary tumor
  •  Primitive neuroectodermal tumors of the central nervous system(CNS)

The following infectious or inflammatory processes can be considered in the differential diagnosis:

  • Histiocytosis X
  • Infundibulitis
  • Lymphocytic hypophysitis
  • Sarcoidosis
  • Syphilis
  • Tuberculosis

Vascular malformations to consider in the differential diagnosis include the following:

  • Carotid-cavernous fistula
  • Cavernous sinus hemangioma
  • Giant suprasellar carotid aneurysm

Other congenital defects to consider in the differential diagnosis include the following:

  • Arachnoid cyst
  • Rathke cleft cyst

Differential Diagnoses