Hypothalamic obesity in patients with craniopharyngioma: treatment approaches and the emerging role of gastric bypass surgery.

06:00 EDT 22nd September 2011 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Hypothalamic obesity in patients with craniopharyngioma: treatment approaches and the emerging role of gastric bypass surgery."

Hypothalamic obesity is a potential sequela of craniopharyngioma, arising from hypothalamic damage inflicted by either the tumor and/or its treatment. The marked weight gain that characterizes this disorder appears to result from impaired sympathoadrenal activation, parasympathetic dysregulation, and other hormonal and hypothalamic disturbances that upset the balance between energy intake and expenditure. Given hypopituitarism is commonly present, careful management of hormonal deficits is important for weight control in these patients. In addition, diet, exercise, and pharmacotherapy aimed at augmenting sympathetic output, controlling hyperinsulinism, and promoting weight loss have been used to treat this disease, but these measures rarely lead to sustained weight loss. While surgical interventions have not routinely been pursued, emerging data suggests that surgical weight loss interventions including Roux-en-Y gastric bypass can be safely and effectively used for the management of hypothalamic obesity in patients with craniopharyngioma.


Department of Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, William Black Medical Research Building, 650 West 168th Street, Room 905, New York, NY, 10032, USA.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Pituitary
ISSN: 1573-7403


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A benign pituitary-region neoplasm that originates from Rathke's pouch. The two major histologic and clinical subtypes are adamantinous (or classical) craniopharyngioma and papillary craniopharyngioma. The adamantinous form presents in children and adolescents as an expanding cystic lesion in the pituitary region. The cystic cavity is filled with a black viscous substance and histologically the tumor is composed of adamantinomatous epithelium and areas of calcification and necrosis. Papillary craniopharyngiomas occur in adults, and histologically feature a squamous epithelium with papillations. (From Joynt, Clinical Neurology, 1998, Ch14, p50)

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