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Staging of intracranial tumors

The classification of stages varies from tumor type to tumor type.

Primary intracranial tumors

  • Classification according to histological type and localization.
  • TNM-classification is not used.

Pituitary gland tumors

  • Tumor size is used for classification of pituitary gland adenomas.
    • Microadenomas < 10 mm
    • Macroadenomas ≥ 10 mm
  • Knosp classification indicates lateral spread of pituitary gland tumors.

The Knosp classification is divided into stages from 0 to 4, where grade 0 is intrasellar tumors without spreading into cavernous sinus, and grade 4 are tumors which enclose the intracavernous part of the internal carotid artery. Tumors that spread laterally from the internal carotid artery are very difficult to remove radically.



  • Metastases are classified according to the TNM classification.
  • The TNM system describes how widespread the disease is at the time it is detected.

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