Diagnosing a craniopharyngioma usually starts with a medical history review and a neurologic exam by the doctor. During this procedure, a doctor tests vision, hearing, balance, coordination and reflexes. Testing may also be done to look for any changes in hormone levels.
Next, the doctor may request imaging tests. At Mayo Clinic, all diagnostic testing can be completed in a few days rather than in several weeks.
Mayo Clinic has an international reputation for top-quality imaging and rapid test results. In tests that involve radiation, specialists carefully monitor doses to avoid the risk of radiation overexposure.
Imaging to help diagnose craniopharyngioma may include one or more of these tests, among others: X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a computerized tomography (CT) scan or a positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
Sometimes a needle biopsy may be used to get a sample of the tumor tissue before surgery. Experienced pathologists examine the tissue in highly equipped laboratories.