CNS & pituitary tumors


Rathke cleft cyst

Last author update: 1 February 2012
Last staff update: 24 September 2020

Copyright: 2002-2023,, Inc.

PubMed Search: "Rathke cleft cyst"

Eman Abdelzaher, M.D., Ph.D.
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Cite this page: Abdelzaher E. Rathke cleft cyst. website. Accessed March 22nd, 2023.
Definition / general
  • Mucus containing cyst arising from Rathke cleft remnants
  • Intrasellar or suprasellar
  • Incidental postmortem finding
  • Larger cysts, usually in adults, may be symptomatic
Gross description
  • Thin walled, mucinous contents
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Lined by columnar ciliated epithelium with goblet cells
  • Variable fragments of pituitary tissue, squamous metaplasia, xanthogranulomatous reaction
Positive stains
Differential diagnosis
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