22.11.2021 | Magnetic Resonance Imaging
A study on clinical outcomes of Rathke’s cleft cyst in patients managed conservatively
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The primary objective was to investigate the clinical presentation, hormonal dysfunction, imaging characteristics and natural history of RCCs that were managed conservatively. Secondary objective was to identify factors associated with cyst progression.
A retrospective review of patients with the clinical diagnosis of RCC—identified from word search from radiology reports that were followed up from January 1999 to March 2019 was performed. The demographics, clinical data, radiological features and outcomes were reviewed and analyzed.
105 patients were identified with a median follow up of 6 years. 68 patients (64.8%) were managed conservatively from diagnosis till last follow up while 37 patients (35.2%) underwent surgery, with 26 operated at time of diagnosis and 11 operated upon monitoring. For patients managed conservatively from diagnosis till last follow up, incidental finding was the most common presentation. 19.1% had either one or more axes of hormonal dysfunction, with hypogonadism and hypocortisolemia being the commonest ones. Imaging features were variable. 66.2% of patients had T2W hyperintensity on MRI. Pathognomonic feature of intracystic nodule was present in only 14.7% of patients. Among the 79 patients with repeated MRI imaging (68 from conservative group and 11 from surgical group), 32.9% of patients developed cyst progression while 67.1% had either static disease or regression in size of RCC. Median time to progression of cyst was 14 months. Longer median follow up duration and presence of pituitary stalk displacement at presentation were associated with cyst progression. Only one patient developed new endocrine dysfunction.
2/3 of the RCCs had static disease or even regression in the size of the cyst. They rarely gave rise to additional endocrine dysfunction by adopting observant approach. Cyst progression was demonstrated in 1/3 of patients. Conservative treatment remained a reasonable treatment for patients without significant symptoms.