Predictors of visual outcome in patients operated for craniopharyngioma - a Danish national study

Mads Forslund Jacobsen, Ann Sofia Skou Thomsen, Daniella Bach-Holm, Ghazaleh Doroudian, Kamilla Rothe Nissen, Kåre Fugleholm, Lars Poulsgaard, Volkert Siersma, Steffen Heegaard

18 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Craniopharyngioma often causes visual loss due to the close relation to the anterior visual pathways. This study investigates the incidence and predictors of visual outcomes in patients with craniopharyngioma.

METHODS: Data from sixty-six patients who underwent surgery for craniopharyngioma from 2009 to 2013 in Denmark were reviewed. Primary outcomes were visual acuity (VA) and visual field (VF) defects from pre-and postoperative visits. Secondary outcomes were optic nerve atrophy (OA) and papilledema.

RESULTS: Fifty-eight patients were included. The VA of the patients 1-year after surgery improved by -0.16 log(MAR) (95%CI: -0.30 to -0.02; p = 0.0266). Visual field (VF) defects worsened in 17 eyes (30%), remained stable in 21 eyes (37%) and improved in 19 eyes (33%). The presence of papilledema and the absence of OA were significantly correlated with an improvement in VA postoperatively (p = 0.011 and p = 0.011, respectively). Patients undergoing surgery within a week or less after their first ophthalmological examination had a significant improvement in VA (-0.36; 95%CI: -0.62 to -0.09; p = 0.0099). Patients undergoing surgery using a subfrontal approach also showed improvement in VA (p = 0.048). Tumour recurrence had a significantly worse VA outcome (p = 0.0074).

CONCLUSION: Patients show a slight improvement in VA 1-year after operation for craniopharyngioma. The presence of papilledema and early surgical intervention is associated with a significant improvement in VA. Early involvement of a dedicated ophthalmologist is recommended to secure an early detection of a visual decline and potential tumour recurrence.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)39-45
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Journal Article


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