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Hello Camilla , I am Dr. Arun and will be helping you today. Rathke cleft cysts (RCCs) are benign (non cancerous), fluid-filled growths in the pituitary gland. They develop in the space between the front (anterior) and back (posterior) parts of the pituitary gland. They do not usually grow or turn cancerous. Rarely cysts can enlarge (in your age group, it is not common) and cause symptoms secondary to compression of the pituitary gland, pituitary stalk, optic chiasma, or hypothalamus (which are surrounding structures of the cyst in the brain). The common symptoms are;
other endocrine manifestations
RCCs are usually asymptomatic (cause no symptoms because they are not large enough to cause compression on surrounding structures).and are found incidentally by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The treatment is dependent on the hormonal status and the symptoms caused by it. Since this is a congenital cyst (present from birth), blood work for the hormones and angiography of the brain would be recommended to further ascertain the cause of the manifestations. Treatment may include removal of the cyst through a surgical procedure called eyebrow craniotomy, which is a minimally invasive endo nasal transsphenoidal surgery. It is performed through the nose. It can also be drained if it is causing pressure of the surrounding part of the brain. Cyst aspiration and partial removal of Rathke's cleft cyst are also regarded to be sufficient, and very low recurrences have been reported, by these treatment.
Please see the reference resources;
Voelker JL, Campbell RL, Muller J. Clinical, radiographic, and pathological features of symptomatic Rathke's cleft cysts. J Neurosurg. Apr 1991;74(4):535-44. [Medline].
Shin JL, Asa SL, Woodhouse LJ, et al. Cystic lesions of the pituitary: clinicopathological features distinguishing craniopharyngioma, Rathke's cleft cyst, and arachnoid cyst. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Nov 1999;84(11):3972-82. [Medline]. [Full Text].
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