Ectopic recurrence of pediatric craniopharyngiomas after gross total resection: a report of two cases and a review of the literature

Childs Nerv Syst. 2016 Aug;32(8):1523-9. doi: 10.1007/s00381-016-3050-1. Epub 2016 Mar 11.


Introduction: Ectopic recurrent craniopharyngioma is rare. We reported two pediatric cases and reviewed the related literature.

Method: We retrospectively studied 177 craniopharyngioma cases treated by the senior author (Yuan X) between years 2003 and 2013. Two ectopic recurrent craniopharyngiomas were identified. One was discovered under the right frontal lobe and the other was found in the fourth ventricle. Both patients underwent a second radical resection without complications. Then we conducted an extensive review of peer-reviewed, English-language literatures in the US National Library of Medicine, focusing on the treatment modalities, recurrent sites, and clinical outcomes.

Results: Sixty ectopic recurrent tumors have been reported so far (including this study). Thirty-three tumors were located in the previous surgical corridors and 27 were disseminated along the cerebrospinal fluid pathway. All recurrent tumors were surgically removed. The gross total resection (GTR) rates were 87 and 63 %, respectively.

Conclusion: The natural course of recurrent ectopic craniopharyngiomas is progressive. GTR is the treatment of choice. Regular follow-ups are strongly recommended to detect any further recurrence.

Keywords: Cerebrospinal fluid; Craniopharyngioma; Ectopic recurrence; Metastasis; Seeding.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Craniopharyngioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Craniopharyngioma / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / etiology*
  • Neurosurgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Pregnancy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Ki-67 Antigen