Craniopharyngiomas: Radiological differentiation of two types

In Ho Lee, Elcin Zan, W. Robert Bell, Peter C. Burger, Heejong Sung, David M. Yousem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine imaging features that may separate adamantinomatous and papillary variants of craniopharyngiomas given that tumors with adamantinomatous signature features are associated with higher recurrence rates, morbidity, and mortality. We specifically reviewed calcification on CT, T1 bright signal intensity, and cystic change on T2 weighted images for differentiating these two types. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the MRI and CT studies in 38 consecutive patients with pathologically proven craniopharyngiomas between January 2004 and February 2014 for the presence of calcification on CT scans, bright signal intensity on T1 weighted images, and cystic change on T2 weighted images. Results: Of the 38 craniopharyngiomas, 30 were adamantinomatous type and 8 were papillary type. On CT scans, calcification was present in 25 of 38 tumors. All calcified tumors were adamantinomatous type. Twenty four of 38 tumors had bright signal intensity on T1 weighted images. Of these 24 tumors, 22 (91.7%) were adamantinomatous and 2 were papillary type. Cystic change on T2 weighted images was noted in 37 of 38 tumors; only 1 tumor with papillary type did not show cystic change. Conclusion: T1 bright signal intensity and calcification on CT scans uniformly favor the adamantinomatous type over papillary type of craniopharyngioma in children. However, these findings are more variable in adults where calcification and T1 bright signal intensity occur in 70.6% and 58.8% respectively of adult adamantinomatous types of craniopharyngiomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-470
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Korean Neurosurgical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Tomography scanners
  • X-ray computed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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