RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Pretreatment diagnosis of suprasellar papillary craniopharyngioma and germ cell tumors of adult patients.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Suprasellar papillary craniopharyngiomas and germ cell tumors in adults share some clinical and imaging similarities but have different therapeutic strategies and outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate the pretreatment diagnosis of these 2 tumors to improve the therapeutic outcome.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively enrolled 18 adults with papillary craniopharyngiomas and 17 with germ cell tumors. The MR imaging findings were evaluated, including signal change and anatomic extension. The medical records were reviewed to collect clinical findings, management, and outcomes.

RESULTS: The clinical findings of papillary craniopharyngiomas versus germ cell tumors were as follows: age: 46 ± 13.9 years versus 23 ± 7.1 years (P < .0001); diabetes insipidus: 2/18 (11%) versus 11/17 (65%) (P = .001); recurrence 13/16 (81%) versus 4/17 (24%) (P = .0031). The MR imaging findings of papillary craniopharyngiomas versus germ cell tumors were as follows—pituitary stalk thickening: 1.6 ± 0.4 mm versus 5.4 ± 4.2 mm (P < .0001); vertical infundibular extension: 1/18 (6%) versus 16/17 (94%) (P < .0001); sagittal spheric shape: 17/18 (94%) versus 1/17 (6%) (P < .0001); diffusion restriction: 1/17 (6%) versus 8/12 (67%) (P = .0009).

CONCLUSIONS: Younger age, diabetes insipidus, MR imaging characteristics of restricted diffusion, and vertical infundibular extension favor the diagnosis of germ cell tumors. Spheric shape without infundibular infiltration provides clues to papillary craniopharyngiomas, which originate from the pars tuberalis and are located outside the third ventricle. We suggest that suprasellar germ cell tumor is possibly an intraventricular lesion. Appropriate treatment planning can be initiated according to the diagnosis and anatomic location.

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