An incidental suprasellar mass in a military flying cadet: Implications for aircrew

Omer Doron*, Erez Carmon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Incidental findings pose a dilemma in aviation medicine, where every finding must be carefully considered in order to ensure the well-being of the aircrew for flight and mission safety. Since suprasellar masses are not uncommon, their possible effects should be addressed. CASE REPORT: We present an incidental finding of 11.5 mm 3 14.4 mm, hyper-intense on T2 and iso-intense on T1-weighted images, of a suprasellar mass in a 19-yr-old man. This finding led to the re-evaluation of his position as a military flight cadet, followed by his later disqualification. DISCUSSION: No medical waiver regarding asymptomatic suprasellar mass exists. We have carefully examined the differential diagnosis and generated a profile for each possible diagnosis consisting of risks for sudden incapacitation, progression likelihood, and the effect of an aerial environment on a brain lesion. We were able to draw up a medical waiver for some of the possible diagnoses (namely, Rathke's cyst or craniopharyngioma) for nonhigh performance aircraft.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-480
Number of pages4
JournalAerospace medicine and human performance
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aviation medicine
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Hypothalamic hamartoma
  • Low grade glioma
  • Medical waiver
  • Military flying cadet
  • Rathke's cleft cyst
  • Suprasellar mass


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