Long-Term Outcomes of Endoscopic Cyst Fenestration for Rathke Cleft Cyst

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We sought to elucidate the long-term surgical outcomes and incidence of recurrence and reoperation of endoscopic endonasal cyst fenestration for Rathke cleft cyst (RCC). Methods: A retrospective review of the chart and operation record of RCC surgical cases between January 2008 and August 2021 at our institution was conducted. Patient characteristics, intraoperative findings, and postoperative follow-up outcomes were evaluated. Results: A total of 27 patients were analyzed, with a median postoperative follow-up period of 52 months (range, 1–150 months). Preoperative symptoms were visual dysfunction (59%), headache (41%), and pituitary dysfunction (22%). Endoscopic cyst fenestration was performed in all patients. Ten (37%) patients had intraoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage. Among them, the only patient in whom sellar floor reconstruction was not performed experienced a repair operation due to postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage. No patients experienced postoperative hypopituitarism. Preoperative headache, visual dysfunction, and pituitary hormone disorder improved in 73%, 75%, and 67% of patients, respectively. Although postoperative cyst regrowth was observed in 8 patients (30%), no patient experienced worsening or novel symptoms and none required reoperation. Conclusions: Patients with a symptomatic RCC can be effectively treated with endoscopic endonasal cyst fenestration. Reversal of the presenting symptoms resulted, including headache, visual dysfunction, and pituitary hormone dysfunction, in the majority of patients. In our series, appropriate reconstruction of the sellar floor reduced the risk of postoperative cerebrospinal fluid leakage without impacting cyst regrowth. This simple technique appears to effectively disrupt cyst progression in most cases, even after a relatively long-term follow-up period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e282-e288
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May


  • Cerebrospinal fluid leakage
  • Cyst fenestration
  • Endoscopic endonasal approach
  • Pituitary hormone dysfunction
  • Rathke cleft cyst
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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