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Ask Dr. Arun Phophalia Your Own Question
Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 35076
Experience:  MBBS, MS (General Surgery), Fellowship in Sports Medicine
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Pituary cyst brain

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Pituary cyst brain

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;


visual disturbance

menstrual irregularities

low libido

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;

  1. 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].

  2. 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].

Please feel free for your follow up questions.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have breast milk coming out ,mood swings very low testeron ,low cortisol ,headache that I never had all my life .Drinking 6 l water a day still thirsty .Should I hurry up to get an MRI ?
Hello Camilla,

Your symptoms are suggestive or Rathke's cyst causing pressure on pituitary / hypothalamus. It is not an emergency but getting the MRI earlier would be recommended.

It is privilege assisting you.

Dr. Arun