Craniopharyngioma (CP) and cranial fibrous dysplasia (CFD) are rare embryonic benign cranial diseases that most commonly present during childhood or adolescence. The coexistence of CP and CFD is extremely rare and has not yet been reported.
We retrospectively reviewed the data of five patients with concomitant CP and CFD treated at Beijing Tiantan Hospital from January 2003 to January 2021 and summarized their clinicopathological features, treatment modalities, and outcomes. We also performed a comprehensive literature review, tested the patients for characteristic GNAS gene mutations related to CFD, and tested the CP specimens for corresponding Gsα protein to explore the potential connection leading to the coexistence of CP and CFD.
The cohort comprised four men and one woman (median age, 39 years). The symptoms mainly included headache, dizziness, fatigue, polyuria/polydipsia, hypogonadism, and blurred vision. CFD most commonly involved the sphenoid bone (n = 4). Four patients underwent surgery to remove the CP (one trans-sphenoidal and three transcranial resections); complete and subtotal resection were achieved in two patients, respectively. The tumor subtype was adamantinomatous in three patients and unknown in one. The common postoperative complications were panhypopituitarism, diabetes insipidus, and hypothyroidism. The mean follow-up duration was 57.2 months. Two patients required postoperative hormone replacement therapy. Three patients underwent genetic study of the tumor specimens; GNAS mutations were not detected, but these patients were positive for Gsα protein.
Although a definite causative relationship has not been proved, the coexistence of CP and CFD means that potential interplay or an atypical fibrous dysplasia course as uncommon manifestations of CP cannot be excluded. It is more challenging to initiate prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment for concomitant CP and CFD than for solitary CP because of skull base deformations. Current management strategies are aimed at surgical treating the CP and regularly monitoring the CFD.

© 2022. The Author(s).