Modern treatment of 84 newly diagnosed craniopharyngiomas

Corinna C. Zygourakis, Gurvinder Kaur, Sandeep Kunwar, Michael W. McDermott, Michelle Madden, Taemin Oh, Andrew T. Parsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


There is debate regarding the appropriate treatment for craniopharyngiomas, which often present symptomatically given their proximity to critical brain structures, and pose significant surgical challenges. The goal of this study is to identify which patient and tumor characteristics are associated with specific preoperative symptoms, surgical complications, patient outcomes, and tumor recurrence in order to guide craniopharyngioma treatment. We retrospectively identified 84 patients with newly diagnosed craniopharyngiomas treated at our institution from 1986-2010. We used binary logistic regression and survival analysis to determine the effect of several variables (including sex, age, tumor size, location, surgical approach, and extent of resection) on preoperative symptoms and postoperative outcomes, including complication rates and tumor recurrence. Age and tumor location were associated with increased rates of preoperative symptoms, with children being more likely than adults to present with endocrine dysfunction, and intraventricular tumors being more likely than extraventricular tumors to present with headaches and hydrocephalus. A transcranial surgical approach was associated with 1.5 times higher rate of surgical complications than transsphenoidal surgery, while only intraventricular tumor location was associated with a poorer patient outcome. The main factor significantly associated with tumor recurrence was extent of resection. We conclude that intraventricular tumor location is most highly correlated with preoperative symptoms. If feasible, transsphenoidal approaches are preferred, as they result in fewer surgical complications, and gross total resections are optimal because they lead to lower rates of recurrence. When gross total resection is not possible, we favor multimodal treatment approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1558-1566
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain tumor
  • Case series
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Surgical outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Modern treatment of 84 newly diagnosed craniopharyngiomas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this