Testing & Diagnosis for Craniopharyngioma in Children

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How is a craniopharyngioma diagnosed?

When some children with large craniopharyngiomas are initially diagnosed, they may be quite ill with increased pressure in their brain and there really is not much time to do any special additional diagnostic testing. In this case, surgery must be carried out rapidly to reduce the brain pressure.

If time is available, however, there are some tests that are helpful to the treating physicians.

CT scan of the brain - This lets your child's doctor determine the extent of the calcium build-up within the tumor. Calcium deposits, which are not seen well on MRI, often denote areas of the tumor that may be difficult to remove. Knowing the location of these areas can help the surgeon plan the operation more effectively.

Endocrinologic and ophthalmologic evaluations - Evaluating your child's body function in these areas can help her doctors design an optimal post-surgery management plan.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
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