, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 352–359 | Cite as

Craniopharyngioma: historical notes

  • J. Lindholm
  • E. H. Nielsen


For centuries tumors have been described which today with some confidence can be diagnosed as craniopharyngiomas. It was not until 1904 Erdheim described what he called ‘hypophysial duct tumors’, and which Cushing later gave the name craniopharyngioma. The first operation for this neoplasm took place in 1909. It soon became evident that the outcome of surgery was rather dismal with high mortality and morbidity rates—even after corticosteroid therapy became available around 1950. Radiotherapy was introduced and later refined as radiosurgery. This paper presents a short survey of the accumulation of knowledge of craniopharyngiomas.


Craniopharyngioma Pituitary tumor History of medicine 



We are indebted to the staff at the Medical Library, Aarhus University Hospital, Aalborg for excellent assistance.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EndocrinologyAarhus University HospitalAalborgDenmark

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