Slow-growing craniopharyngioma masquarading as early-onset eating disorder: Two cases


  • Conflict of interest: R.K.S. has received lecture fees and consulting fees from Sanofi Aventis (2005–2007).



Craniopharyngiomas are slow-growing tumors, which can either be asymptomatic or present themselves with visual, neuropsychiatric or endocrine disturbances. Eating disorders (EDs) are syndromes with unknown etiology, associated with multiple endocrine abnormalities. In pediatric cases the presentation of EDs may differ markedly from those of adults.


We report on two pediatric patients with craniopharyngioma misinterpreted as ED.


Available patient records, psychiatric examinations, neuro-radiographic imaging, and biochemical data were evaluated.


The reported cases illustrate the importance to consider slow-growing craniopharyngioma in ED. Especially in atypical ED, neuro-radiographic, ophthalmologic and endocrine examination should be carried out. Furthermore, structural hypothalamic lesions in these cases mimicking features of ED, suggesting the possibility of an as yet unidentified structural hypothalamic disorder to be implicated in the etiopathogeny of ED. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord, 2009