Rathke’s Cleft Cyst

Rathke’s cleft cysts are noncancerous, fluid-filled cysts in the pituitary gland. Rathke’s cleft cysts occur with pituitary adenomas sometimes.

If you are suffering from any cranial or brain conditions, we urge you to see our brain specialists at ONE® Brain & Spine Center® for consultation so we may help alleviate your pain and improve your quality of life. Call (949) 383-4190 to schedule an appointment.

Rathke’s cleft cysts are believed to be caused when Rathke’s pouch is incorrectly developed. However, the exact cause is still not known.

If you have a Rathke’s cleft cyst, there may not be any symptoms. The most common symptoms that you will experience are:

  • Headaches
  • Behavorial changes
  • Weight change
  • Impaired vision
  • Rathke’s cleft cyst is diagnosed by gathering blood and urine samples to measure for levels hormomes. MRIs and CT scans are completed to show the size and find the location of a Rathke’s cleft cyst.

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – MRI shows the soft tissues of the body and gives clearer picture of the skull base and spine.
    Computerized Tomography (CT Scan)- Combined CT scan and myleography produces image that clearly show both the bone structures of the spine and the nerve structures

    Each patient with a Rathke’s cleft cyst is different. Factors that impact the course of treatment and outcome are patient’s overall health condition, age, gender, tumor location and size. The best treatment for a cyst is surgical removal. At ONE® Brain & Spine Center® your Southern California neurosurgeon, Robert Louis, MD, performs minimally invasive procedure to surgically remove the mass.

    Minimally Invasive Surgical Treatments

    • Endoscopic Transsphenoidal Surgery- The endoscopic transsphenoidal surgical procedure uses a light called endoscope inserted into the nostril and sphenoid sinus to access and remove pituitary tumors. The term transsphenoidal literally means “through the sphenoid sinus.”