Total removal of craniopharyngiomas. Approaches and long-term results in 144 patients

J Neurosurg. 1990 Jul;73(1):3-11. doi: 10.3171/jns.1990.73.1.0003.


The clinical features, perioperative course, and postoperative outcomes of 144 patients who underwent microsurgical resection of craniopharyngioma were reviewed. Overall, 90% of the tumors were completely resected and 7% recurred. Evaluation of those patients who underwent primary resection revealed much better results. The operative techniques and approaches are reviewed in detail. The results of this series suggest that primary total removal of craniopharyngiomas yields the best long-term outcome for the patient. Experience has shown that the larger the tumor the greater will be the damage, both preoperatively and intraoperatively, to vital intracranial structures. Consequently, early diagnosis, at a stage when the tumor is still small, improves the chances of accomplishing complete removal and of achieving good operative results. The early diagnosis of craniopharyngioma, before it can produce devastating neurological defects, continues to be the principal goal of our medical and pediatric colleagues.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / complications
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Brain Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniopharyngioma / complications
  • Craniopharyngioma / diagnosis
  • Craniopharyngioma / pathology
  • Craniopharyngioma / radiotherapy
  • Craniopharyngioma / surgery*
  • Endocrine System Diseases / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / etiology
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Microsurgery / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Vision Disorders / etiology