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Title: Rathke  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Neuroendocrinology, Endoscopic endonasal surgery, Craniopharyngioma, Hypothyroidism, Health care in Canada
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A Rathke's cleft cyst is a benign growth found on the pituitary gland in the brain, specifically a fluid-filled cyst in the posterior portion of the anterior pituitary gland.[1][2] It occurs when the Rathke's pouch does not develop properly, and ranges in size from 2 to 40mm in diameter.[2]

Asymptomatic cysts are common, detected during autopsies of 2 to 26 percent of individuals who have died of unrelated causes. Females are twice as likely as males to have a cyst.[2] Symptomatic cysts can trigger visual disturbances, pituitary dysfunction and headaches.[1] Close to half of symptomatic individuals have a visual disturbance, with less common symptoms including diabetes insipidus, amenorrhoea, and galactorrhea.[2]

The treatment of choice for symptomatic cysts is drainage and taking a biopsy.[3][4] Radical excision is more dangerous, because it damages surrounding brain structures, and can cause more bleeding.

The first Rathke's cleft cyst recognized was found during an autopsy in 1913.[2]


  1. ^ a b "Rathke's Cleft Cyst".  
  2. ^ a b c d e Omar Islam (2008-05-28). "Rathke Cleft Cyst: Overview".  
  3. ^ Omar Islam (2008-05-28). "Rathke Cleft Cyst: Follow-up".  
  4. ^ Marcella Koch, Benjamin White, Kar-Ming Fung (2004-02-30 [ 
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