Craniopharyngioma - benign tumor

Symptoms

They are represented by loss of vision, endocrine disorders, and headache. Most patients complain of visual field narrowing. bitemporal hemianopsia appears frequently as a result of compression on the optic chiasm (anatomical structure where the two optic nerves come together).

As the tumor grows, blindness can occur in both eyes.

Headache is usually frontal or fronto-temporal. As the tumor obstructs the flow of cerebrospinal fluid pathways,it may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Because of the proximity of the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus (the brain structures that control the endocrine glands) patients may have endocrine dysfunction, growth disorders, abnormal weight growth, menstrual disorders, hypothyroidism, precocious or delayed puberty. Unfortunately, because symtops are often slow in appearing, the tumor has enough time to grow until it is diagnosed. When diagnosed it is ifetn relatively large, measuring about 3 cm.

Diagnosis

Correct diagnosis is made by neuroimaging studies (CT scan or magnetic resonance imaging-MRI). CT showed calcifications in the sellar region. MRI with and without contrast material (gadolinium) shows extension of tumor and the consequences of its compression on the surrounding brain.

Treatment

The first step is surgery. The surgery allows removal of tumor tissue, allowing marked reduction in tumor volume and improves signs of intracranial hypertension. Sometimes surgery can be curative when the tumor can be removed completely. There is a wide variety of surgical approaches (subfrontal, pterional, trans-sphenoidal, transventricular) which are chosen by the surgeon depending on size and location of the lesion.

Radiotherapy

Applied when complete resection could not be performed. Radiotherapy provides good long-term results, controlling the evolution of the tumor.

Drug treatment is aimed at hormonal substitution. when certain hormones are missing, they need to be replaced with synthetic preparations. Hormonal drug therapy is monitored by endocrinologist.

Results of treatment in this disease depends on tumor size, degree of visual impairment and endocrine damage.

benign tumor, brain, cancer, Craniopharyngioma, disorders, drug, endocrine, optic, size, surgery, treatment