Optic-nerve gliomas, chiasmal gliomas and neurofibromatosis type 1

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology
Christin L SylvesterRobert C Sergott


To review the most recent literature describing the natural history and disease progression patterns of optic-pathway gliomas in neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients. To aid in clarifying the current treatment patterns and follow-up recommendations. Contrary to prior documentation, current literature reveals that optic-pathway gliomas in NF1 can be diagnosed after the age of 6, and may progress until the age of 12. The disease progression occurs most frequently in the first two years following diagnosis. Optic-pathway gliomas in NF1 can display a variety of manifestations and exhibit an unpredictable disease course. No specific characteristics have been found thus far to predict an aggressive compared with indolent disease course. Recently primary diagnoses of optic-pathway gliomas have been made in children aged six or older, and have been shown to progress until the age of 12. Although large-scale studies are required to change current follow-up recommendations, the data suggest that NF1 patients should be vigilantly evaluated for optic-pathway gliomas past the age of 12.


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