Brain Tumor, Craniopharyngioma

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A craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor that develops near the pituitary gland (a small endocrine gland at the base of the brain). This tumor most commonly affects children 5 - 10 years of age. Adults can sometimes be affected. Boys and girls are equally likely to develop this condition. Craniopharyngioma typically is a slow-growing tumor. Symptoms frequently develop insidiously and usually become obvious only after the tumor attains a diameter of about 3cm. The time interval between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis usually ranges from 1-2 years. The most common presenting symptoms are headache (55-86%), endocrine dysfunction (66-90%), and visual disturbances (37-68%). Headache is slowly progressive, dull, continuous, and positional; it becomes severe in most patients when endocrine symptoms become obvious. On presentation, 40% of patients have symptoms related to hypothyroidism (eg, weight gain, fatigue, cold intolerance, constipation). Almost 25% have associated signs and symptoms of adrenal failure (eg, orthostatic hypotension, hypoglycemia, hyperkalemia, cardiac arrhythmias, lethargy, confusion, anorexia, nausea and vomiting), and 20% have diabetes insipidus (eg, excessive fluid intake and urination). Most young patients present with growth failure and delayed puberty.


Laboratory Test Procedures:

stunted growth
change in menstrual cycles
erectile dysfunction
milky nipple discharge
sensitivity to cold
low blood pressure
excessive thirst
increased urine output
temporary loss of vision
increased abdominal fat
temperature regulation abnormalities
behavioral and emotional changes

pH - arterial blood
T4 Free
T4 Total
T3 Free
T3 Total
Osmolality (URINE TEST)
Osmolality (serum)
Specific Gravity Urine
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All information on this page is intended for your general knowledge only and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information