The craniopharyngioma is a histologically benign tumour, mainly occurring in childhood. Neurosurgical treatment, in some of these patients in combination with external radiotherapy, results in a fair prognosis for children with craniopharyngioma. However, the central localisation of this tumour in the brain, damage of surrounding structures due to tumour growth, as well as the adverse effects of treatment will result in substantial morbidity in many patients. The first patient, a 13-year-old boy, presented with symptoms and signs of increased intracranial pressure. Following operation he was treated with radiotherapy, and up to 4 years after the operation there was no tumour recurrence. However, he experienced endocrine, visual, hypothalamic and intellectual disturbances due to the disease and its treatment. The second patient, a 6-year-old girl, presented with hydrocephalus due to the tumour, but also had growth retardation. After operation and radiotherapy, she had visual, endocrine, and intellectual dysfunction, but there were no signs of tumor recurrence. The third patient, an 12-year-old boy, already had growth retardation several years before he presented with neurological dysfunction. He received no postoperative radiation, as all tumour tissue could be removed. He had visual, hypothalamic, endocrine and intellectual disturbances but until nearly 6 years after the operation, there was no tumour recurrence. The morbidity due to the tumour and its treatment has a negative impact on the patient's quality of life. A multidisciplinary treatment and follow-up of these children cannot avoid this morbidity but may result in a timely observation of problems and thereby prevent unnecessary damage.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde|
|Publication status||Published - 2 Sep 2000|