Craniopharyngioma (papillary)

Case contributed by Dr Bruno Di Muzio


Growing intracranial suprasellar mass in the last 10 years.

Patient Data

Age: 60 years
Gender: Male

CT Brain

There is a heterogeneous, partially hyperintense, suprasellar mass. 


MRI pituitary gland

Suprasellar mass measuring 14 x 18 x 9 mm showing mixed signal and patchy heterogeneous enhancement following gadolinium. It also shows some rim enhancement. It contacts and partly displaces the optic chiasm and bears a close relationship to the pituitary stalk and the pituitary contents. No restriction or diffusion.



MICROSCOPIC DESCRIPTION: 1-3. Sections show a papillary tumor composed of mature squamous epithelium with underlying stroma. The epithelium lacks a granular cell layer but contains scattered goblet cells and neutrophils. No skin adnexal structures are seen. The loose stroma appears edematous. No stelate reticulum is seen. There is no evidence of malignancy.

DIAGNOSIS: 1-3. Brain tumor: Papillary craniopharyngioma.

Case Discussion

The papillary subtype of craniopharyngioma is seen almost exclusively in adults and is formed of masses of metaplastic squamous cells. Cysts do form, but these are less of a feature, and the tumor is more solid. Calcification is uncommon or even rare.

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Case information

rID: 45227
Published: 18th May 2016
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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