MR appearance of Rathke's cleft cysts

Neuroradiology. 1988;30(2):155-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00395617.


Two of three patients who proved to have symptomatic Rathke's cleft cysts presented with visual field deficit and all with diabetes insipidus. CT showed intra- and suprasellar cystic low density lesions with ring enhancement. MR showed intra- and suprasellar masses. On the T1-weighted images two of the three had hyperintense portions similar to fat and the other a hyperintense portion similar to white matter within the cysts. These portions were isointense to brain on the T2-weighted images in all cases. This characteristic intensity on MR images provides differentiation from cystic pituitary adenomas and cystic craniopharyngiomas, and leads to correct diagnosis of Rathke's cleft cyst.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cysts / diagnosis*
  • Cysts / diagnostic imaging
  • Cysts / surgery
  • Diabetes Insipidus / etiology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Diseases / complications
  • Pituitary Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Pituitary Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed