, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 214–219 | Cite as

Subgaleal recurrence of craniopharyngioma of rapid growing pattern

  • César B. Gonçalves
  • Giovanna A. B. Lima
  • Jânio Nogueira
  • Antônio Aversa Dutra do Souto
  • Leila Chimelli
  • Giselle F. TaboadaEmail author


The purpose of the present clinical case is to remind clinicians that craniopharyngiomas, which are benign neoplasms with a high incidence of local recurrences, may also present ectopic recurrences which may at first go unsuspected. These tumors most commonly arise in the suprasellar region and despite their benign histology, they may infiltrate the surrounding neurovascular structures making total removal challenging. Ectopic recurrences of craniopharyngiomas are very rare. We describe an adult patient with ectopic recurrence of craniopharyngioma, emphasizing unique features of the case presentation and its physiopathological aspects. A 49-year-old male presented with headache and visual field defect and was diagnosed with a suprasellar tumor. He was submitted to neurosurgery and histological examination revealed an adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed complete tumor resection. The patient remained asymptomatic with no imaging signs of local recurrence during follow up. Five years after surgery, the patient noticed a rapidly growing lump at the surgical incision site. He reported a mild to moderate local trauma 4 months before. A MRI showed a subgaleal cystic tumor arising in the pathway of the craniotomy. Surgical resection of that cystic lesion was performed and histological examination revealed an adamantinomatous craniopharyngioma. One year later no recurrences have been detected. The case reported has two particular features: the local trauma as a potential trigger for tumor progression and the rapidly growing pattern of the ectopic recurrent tumor. We emphasize that although ectopic recurrences of craniopharyngiomas are rare, they may occur away from the primary tumor and quite late in the follow up of the patient.


Ectopic recurrence Craniopharyngioma Tumor seeding Surgical route 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • César B. Gonçalves
    • 1
  • Giovanna A. B. Lima
    • 2
  • Jânio Nogueira
    • 3
  • Antônio Aversa Dutra do Souto
    • 3
    • 4
  • Leila Chimelli
    • 5
    • 6
  • Giselle F. Taboada
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Neurosurgery Unit, Hospital Universitário Antônio PedroUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiteróiBrazil
  2. 2.Endocrinology Unit, Hospital Universitário Antônio PedroUniversidade Federal FluminenseNiteróiBrazil
  3. 3.Neurosurgery UnitInstituto Nacional do CâncerRio de JaneiroBrazil
  4. 4.Neurosurgery Unit, Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga FilhoUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  5. 5.Pathology DivisionInstituto Nacional do CâncerRio de JaneiroBrazil
  6. 6.Pathology Division, Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga FilhoUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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