"The treatment approach for patients with a craniopharyngioma must be carried out by a team of different specialties in order to offer the patient the best alternative that achieves complete removal of the tumor without neurological damage".


Craniopharyngiomas are congenital tumors that originate from embryonic remains that connect the brain to the pharynx (remains of the Rathke's bag) and usually appear just above the pituitary gland.

In general, the prognosis for patients with craniopharyngioma is good, with the possibility of complete cure in 80-90% of cases, if the tumor can be completely removed with surgery or treated with high doses of radiotherapy.

The criteria of good prognosis for radical surgery are: age under 5 years, small tumors without hypothalamic symptoms, pure intraselar or intraventricular location, the experience of the surgeon.


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What are the symptoms of craniopharyngiomas?

The clinical symptoms are secondary to the injury of nearby structures: third ventricle (hydrocephalus), chiasm and optical tracts (visual impairment), hypothalamus (diabetes insipidus).

They can cause galactorrhea, by default in the hypothalamic inhibition of prolactin secretion, and growth retardation, by growth hormone deficit.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Visual impairment.
  • Diabetes insipidus.
  • Delayed growth.

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a craniopharyngioma

How is craniopharyngioma diagnosed?

<p>Resonancia magn&eacute;tica</p>

The diagnosis of craniopharyngiomas is carried out by means of neurological exploration and a cerebral magnetic resonance.

The lesions are usually lobulated, compressing the III ventricle, and of mixed solid-cystic characteristics, with contrast capture in the solid portion.

How are craniopharyngiomas treated?

These are symptomatic benign (expanding) tumors and metastasis is rare.

Although the complete removal of these tumors is curative, it is often impossible to perform a total resection without neurological deficits, so it is often necessary to design a therapeutic strategy combining microsurgery, stereotactic puncture of the cysts by injecting substances that obliterate the cysts, radiosurgery and, in selected cases, conventional radiotherapy.

Where do we treat it?


Central Nervous System Tumors Area
of the Cancer Center Clínica Universidad de Navarra

In the Central Nervous System Tumors Area we offer maximum safety and efficiency in brain tumor surgery, being the first hospital with a high field magnetic resonance within the operating room.

We have a highly specialized team in the surgery of brain tumors, with more than 15 years of experience.

The individualized treatment of each case by an interdisciplinary team allows us to offer the best alternative to each patient.

Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • Integral evaluation of the patient.
  • Cutting edge technology.
  • Expert professionals who are a national reference.

Our team of professionals