Rathke Cleft Cysts with Apoplexy-Like Symptoms: Clinicoradiologic Comparisons with Pituitary Adenomas with Apoplexy

Hye Na Jung, Sung Tae Kim, Doo Sik Kong, Sang il Suh, Inseon Ryoo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Rathke cleft cyst (RCC) can cause acute symptoms mimicking pituitary adenoma (PA) apoplexy. We evaluated the clinicoradiologic features for distinguishing RCC from PA apoplexy. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 22 patients with RCC and 24 patients with PA with apoplexy-like symptoms who underwent surgery via a transsphenoidal approach between November 1999 and December 2016. We compared the clinical data and magnetic resonance (MR) images between the 2 groups. Results: The RCC group was younger and had smaller tumors compared with the PA group (P = 0.02 and 0.001, respectively). The incidences of visual deficits and cranial nerve palsy were lower in the RCCs than in the PAs (P ≤ 0.02 for all). MR images showed more frequent intracystic nodules in the RCCs (P < 0.001), whereas nodular enhancement and lateral deviation of the pituitary stalk were more commonly seen in the PAs (P ≤ 0.003 for both). However, the presence of endocrine dysfunction or decreased consciousness, and the recurrence ratio, were not significantly different between the groups (P ≥ 0.48 for all). In the multivariable logistic regression analysis, patients without nodular enhancement had a 15.84-fold greater risk of RCC than did those with nodular enhancement (P = 0.031). The probability of RCC decreased 0.59-fold with each 1-cm3 increase in tumor volume. Conclusions: RCC with apoplexy-like symptoms has different clinicoradiologic features compared with PA apoplexy. Patients with RCC present with milder ocular symptoms and smaller tumor volumes compared with those with PA apoplexy. The absence of nodular enhancement on MR images could suggest RCC.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e1-e9
    JournalWorld Neurosurgery
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that the article content was composed in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.


    • Magnetic resonance image
    • Pituitary adenoma
    • Pituitary adenoma apoplexy
    • Pituitary apoplexy
    • Rathke cleft cyst
    • Rathke cleft cyst apoplexy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Surgery
    • Clinical Neurology


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