Rathke pouch tumor

Rathke pouch tumor

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Alternative Names: Craniopharyngioma, pituitary adamantinoma, pituitary ameloblastoma, suprasellar cyst, and Erdheim tumor.

Rathke pouch tumor are hypophyseal duct tumors, or adamantinomas is a benign tumor that is derived from pituitary gland embryonic tissue. It is derived from Rathke's pouch remnants, which are the embryonal precursors to the adenohypophysis.

The exact cause of these tumors is not known. However, there is some thought that these tumors arise from a neoplastic transformation, meaning an abnormal development, of cells that did not go away during the fetal development of the pituitary and hypothalamus. The tumor is present at birth, but it may not cause a problem until childhood or adulthood.

This tumor most commonly affects children between 5 and 10 years of age; however, adults can sometimes be affected. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop this condition. Rathke pouch tumor are the most common cause of hypopituitarism in children and are also pathogenic in men and women, most notably those in their 50s and 60s.


Symptoms Include:


  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Visual disturbances.

  • Visual deterioration.

  • Balance problems.

  • Decreased energy.

  • Dry skin.

  • Myxedema.

  • Seizures.

  • Polydipsia and polyuria.


Differential diagnosis include: Meningioma, cerebral aneurysm, optic pathway gliomas, oligodendroglioma, pineoblastoma, pituitary adenoma, and primitive neuroectodermal tumor.

CT and MRI are the complementary examinations of choice. The best imaging tool is MRI, both with and without contrast enhancement.A part from this PET scan are used for measuring brain activity by injecting substances into the brain that can be monitored and used to evaluate tumor growth. These scans are used to give a tumor, a grade.Other tests includes various neurological examinations, including eye movement, reflexes, hearing, balance and coordination, body movement, and various other sensations.


Based on a patient's diagnosis, surgeons can determine what type of a treatment they must put their patients on, including the possible removal of the tumor. The most common and effective way to treat this tumor is by surgery. Even though surgery is the most effective treatment, it is also the most dangerous. The second type of treatment is radiation therapy. High powered x-rays or gamma rays are aimed at the tumor. The third type of treatment is chemotherapy which is usually only used in malignant tumors. The malignant tumors containing cancer cells can be treated by chemotherapy, a cancer killing chemical which is taken by mouth or by injection. Adjuvant radiotherapy is also used if total removal is not possible. However, it should be noted that Rathke pouch tumor are known to recur after resection.Potential side effects are carefully considered when choosing the treatment approach individual patient.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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