Rathke cleft cyst

Case contributed by Prof Peter Mitchell


Incidental finding on CT scan of pituitary region mass.

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Female

A suprasellar mass of 8.9 x 7.8 x 9.3 mm displaces the infundibulum posteriorly, indents the superior surface of the pituitary gland, is mildly T1 hypointense, with no central enhancement. The pituitary is normal. The mass is contiguous with the undersurface of the anterior optic chiasm without significant compression.

The remainder of the imaged brain (please note this study has been targeted to the pituitary, and as such the whole brain has not been imaged) appears unremarkable.


Suprasellar Rathke's cleft cyst is the favored diagnosis, particularly with normal clinical examination and pituitary function. The main differential diagnosis would be from a craniopharyngioma, but is considered much less likely.

Case Discussion

Although morphologically typical imaging features, the site being predominantly suprasellar is uncommon.

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Case information

rID: 28243
Published: 4th Sep 2014
Last edited: 9th Dec 2020
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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