Rathke's cleft cysts (RCCs) are benign lesions with a location that is entirely intrasellar, intrasellar with suprasellar extension (intrasuprasellar), or purely suprasellar. The recurrence of RCC is relatively uncommon. The present study was conducted to report clinical characteristics, histological features, and outcomes based on location of the cyst with a primary focus on analyzing the predictors of squamous metaplasia and recurrence in these 3 types of RCCs.
A retrospective review of the medical records of patients with symptomatic RCCs who had undergone resection at the authors' institution was conducted. Data points, including clinical presentation, preoperative endocrine status, operative details, imaging findings, pathology, and clinical outcomes, were reviewed. A multivariable regression model was used to identify predictors of recurrence.
The mean age of the 87 eligible patients, 64 females and 23 males, was 41 ± 14 years (range 10–73 years). Sixteen patients (18%) had an entirely intrasellar RCC, 21 (24%) had a purely suprasellar cyst, and 50 (58%) had an intrasuprasellar RCC. The mean cyst volume was 2.4 ± 0.9 cm3 (range 0.36–4.9 cm3). Headache was the most frequent initial symptom (76%) followed by visual disturbance (45%). The transsphenoidal approach was performed for all intrasellar RCCs (16 cysts) and 33 of 50 intrasuprasellar RCCs. The transcranial route was used for all suprasellar cysts (21 cysts) and 17 of 50 intrasuprasellar RCCs. Squamous metaplasia was present in 27 (31%) of 87 RCCs. The occurrence of squamous metaplasia was associated with cyst location (p = 0.027), T1 signal intensity (p = 0.004) and ring enhancement on Gd-enhanced MRI (p = 0.017), and cyst volume (p = 0.045). A suprasellar location (p = 0.048, OR 3.89, 95% CI 1.010–15.020), ring enhancement on Gd-enhanced MRI (p = 0.028, OR 3.922, 95% CI 1.158–13.288), hypointensity on T1-weighted MRI (p = 0.002, OR 6.86, 95% CI 1.972–23.909), and cyst volume (p = 0.01, OR 0.367, 95% CI 0.170–0.789) were independent predictors of squamous metaplasia. The mean time to reaccumulation (11 [12.6%] of 87 cases) and recurrence (7 [8%] of 87 cases) was 14 ± 6 months. Recurrence-free survival was 84.5% at a mean of 98.2 ± 4.6 months after treatment. A suprasellar cyst location (p = 0.007, OR 7.7, 95% CI 1.75–34.54), the occurrence of squamous metaplasia (p = 0.007, OR 19.3, 95% CI 2.25–165.18), and isointensity on T2-weighted MRI (p = 0.041, OR 10.29, 95% CI 1.094–96.872) were the independent predictors of RCC recurrence.
A suprasellar cyst location, the occurrence of squamous metaplasia, and isointensity on T2-weighted MRI were independent predictors of RCC recurrence. The extent of resection and type of surgical approach used were not associated with recurrence. A tailored extent of resection based on cyst location and predictive factors is recommended.