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"Children's Hospital Boston: Craniopharyngioma" icon

Children's Hospital Boston: Craniopharyngioma

A craniopharyngioma is a tumor of the brain that commonly affects children. It grows in the area of the pituitary gland and the nerves that relay vision from the eyes to the brain (optic nerves), and frequently grows up into the base of the brain. The tumors arise from cells that in the developing embryo had helped to form the normal pituitary gland. For reasons that are not understood, these cells begin to grow on their own, producing masses that often contain both solid tissue and fluid. In children, portions of the tumor frequently have calcium deposits. The fluid ("cystic") portions of the tumors can reach very large size, and occasionally extend into both sides of the brain.


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