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Skull Base. 2010 Nov;20(6):475-80. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1261269.

Extracranial infrasellar ectopic craniopharyngioma: a case report and review of the literature.


We present a case of a purely infrasellar craniopharyngioma that initially presented as a sphenoid sinus mass. Craniopharyngiomas are usually located within the sella. Purely infrasellar craniopharyngiomas have only rarely been reported in the literature. A 25-year-old woman presented with 6-month history of progressive headaches. Initial neuroimaging revealed the presence of a sphenoid sinus mass. Initially, she underwent an endoscopic biopsy of the mass by our ENT service. Pathology was consistent with craniopharyngioma and she was referred to neurosurgery for further surgical management. She then underwent an endoscopic transsphenoidal approach for complete resection of the purely extracranial, infrasellar craniopharyngioma. The Rathke pouch arises from the roof of the primitive mouth and grows toward the brain at the fourth week of gestation. Normally, it loses its attachment with the stomadeum completely by the eighth week of gestation. The craniopharyngeal canal (CPC) extends from the floor of the sella to the vomer and may rarely give rise to ectopic craniopharyngiomas. This case shows that such ectopic tumors may arise anywhere along the CPC. Endoscopic endonasal approach provides an excellent route for the resection of these tumors.


Craniopharyngioma; Rathke pouch; ectopic; infrasellar

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