Pediatric Craniopharyngioma

Pediatric Craniopharyngioma



A craniopharyngioma is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that grows in the sellar region of the brain, near the pituitary gland.

Expanded overview

A craniopharyngioma is a benign (non-cancerous) tumor that occurs near the pituitary gland and often includes the third ventricle, optic (vision) nerve and the pituitary gland. These types of tumors usually grow large before they are diagnosed. Craniopharyngiomas comprise 5 to 10 percent of all childhood brain tumors, and are seen most commonly in African-Americans (Source: American Brain Tumor Association).


There are two types of craniopharyngiomas:

  • Adamantinomatous (ordinary) craniopharyngioma – This is a less solid tumor that occurs in children.
  • Papillary craniopharyngioma – This is a more solid tumor that occurs in adults.


Increased pressure within the brain causes the main signs and symptoms related to craniopharyngiomas. Pressure on the optic tract and pituitary gland can cause other symptoms, which may include:

  • Delayed development
  • Impaired vision
  • Obesity
  • Swollen optic (vision) nerve

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