What are hypothalamic tumours?

The most common hypothalamic tumours are craniopharyngioma, dermoid and epidermoid tumours.

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What are the symptoms and signs of other hypothalamic tumours?

The most common manifestations of these tumours are:

  • initially asymptomatic
  • headache
  • nausea, vomiting
  • visual problems including loss of vision
  • fatigue
  • slow growth of children –delayed puberty
  • obesity
  • hypogonadism (menstrual disorders in women, erectile dysfunction in men)
  • polyuria, polydipsia
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How are hypothalamic tumours diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made by physical examination, history, MRI, biopsy and specialised endocrine tests to detect possible hormone deficiencies.

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How are hypothalamic tumours treated?

The treatment of other hypothalamic tumours depends on their size, how fast they grow, what mass effects they may cause, age and comorbidities, and the patient’s preference. It usually involves a combination of:

  • surgical excision and
  • radiotherapy.

However, both their treatment and their diagnosis are determined by a multidisciplinary team, which includes endocrinologist, neurosurgeon, radiologist, oncologist, pathologist and is carried out in a specialized centre.

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