Imaging

Craniopharyngioma

Preliminary Diagnosis: Craniopharyngioma

I. What imaging technique is first-line for this diagnosis?

MR imaging of the brain with intravenous contrast.

II. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of this technique for diagnosing craniopharyngioma.

Advantages

  • Diagnostic in the appropriate clinical scenario.

  • Able to localize the area of abnormality and predict any secondary neurological complications.

  • Does not utilize ionizing radiation.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive.

  • Time consuming.

  • Susceptible to motion artifact.

  • IV contrast requires the patient to have good renal function (GFR > 30).

III. What are the contraindications for the first-line imaging technique?

MR imaging is contraindicated in patients with non-MR compatible metallic hardware or foreign bodies.

IV. What alternative imaging techniques are available?

Non-enhanced and contrast enhanced CT.

V. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the alternative techniques for diagnosing craniopharyngioma.

Advantages

  • Better than MRI at detecting calcifications that are often associated with craniopharyngiomas.

  • Quicker, less expensive, and requires less patient cooperation than MRI.

Disadvantages

  • CT is nonspecific and lacks the anatomic detail obtained with MRI.

  • CT exposes the patient to ionizing radiation.

VI. What are the contraindications for the alternative imaging techniques?

CT is contraindicated in pregnant patients, especially during the first two trimesters.

You must be a registered member of Endocrinology Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-Newsletters