Craniopharyngioma: a review of long-term visual outcome. Academic Article uri icon


  • PURPOSE: To assess the clinical presentation and long-term visual outcome in a series of patients with craniopharyn-gioma. METHODS: Retrospective case review. RESULTS: Thirty-six patients were reviewed, comprising 19 female patients and 17 male patients. The age range was 2-77 years with a bimodal distribution of 17 children (mean age 10 years) and 19 adults (mean age 47 years). Blurred vision was the most common visual complaint (23 cases, 64%) and headache the most frequent systemic complaint (19 cases, 53%). The average duration of systemic symptoms was 45 weeks compared to 10 weeks for visual symptoms. Deficits in visual acuity occurred in 13 patients (36%) and showed no significant change from initial presentation to final review. Sixteen patients (44%) had bitemporal hemianopia on presentation and pleomorphism (change from one type of visual field defect to another) occurred in 11 patients. Recurrence of tumour occurred in 15 patients (42%) and was more likely in children (59%) than adults (26%). The mean time period to recurrence was 7 years. The average follow-up period for all cases was 10 years. CONCLUSION: Patients with craniopharyngioma generally present late, and the visual symptoms are often preceded by a long history of systemic symptoms. Children are more likely to present with systemic symptoms than adults. Visual field pleomorphism is a feature of craniopharyngioma and occurred in one-third of the patients. Local recurrence is common. Although magnetic resonance imaging is the recommended means of follow up, regular neuro-ophthalmic review is useful in the early detection of anterior visual pathway compression by recurrent tumour.

published proceedings

  • Clin Exp Ophthalmol

author list (cited authors)

  • Chen, C., Okera, S., Davies, P. E., Selva, D., & Crompton, J. L.

citation count

  • 58

complete list of authors

  • Chen, Celia||Okera, Salim||Davies, Peter E||Selva, Dinesh||Crompton, John L

publication date

  • June 2003