A patient with a craniopharyngioma is at risk for sudden death if certain complications occur.

Causes of sudden death may include:

(1) acute obstructive hydrocephaluswith acute cerebral edema

(2) atherosclerotic heart disease (secondary to hyperphagic hypothalamic obesity)

(3) QTc prolongation and/or cardiac arrhythmia


Premorbid presentations may include:

(1) acute onset of abnormal behavior (disinhibition, psychosis, other)

(2) signs of increased intracranial pressure (headache)

(3) morbid obesity

(4) syncope


It is important to exclude other causes of death.

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