BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuOptic gliomaGlioma - optic; Optic nerve glioma; Juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma; Brain cancer - optic gliomaGliomas are tumors that grow in various parts of the brain. Optic gliomas can affect:One or both of the optic nerves that carry visual information to the brain from each eye The optic chiasm, the area where the optic nerves cross each other in front of the hypothalamus of the brain An optic glioma may also grow along with a hypothalamic glioma.Hypothalamic gliomaA hypothalamic tumor is an abnormal growth in the hypothalamus gland, which is located in the brain.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Causes Optic gliomas are rare. The cause of optic gliomas is unknown. Most optic gliomas are slow-growing and noncancerous (benign) and occur in children, almost always before age 20. Most cases are diagnosed by 5 years of age.BenignBenign refers to a condition, tumor, or growth that is not cancerous. This means that it does not spread to other parts of the body. It does not in...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article There is a strong association between optic glioma and neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).NF1Neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1) is an inherited disorder in which nerve tissue tumors (neurofibromas) form in the:Upper and lower layers of the skinNerves ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Symptoms The symptoms are due to the tumor growing and pressing on the optic nerve and nearby structures. Symptoms may include:Involuntary eyeball movement Outward bulging of one or both eyes Squinting Vision loss in one or both eyes that starts with the loss of peripheral vision and eventually leads to blindnessPeripheralPeripheral means "away from the center. " It refers to areas away from the center of the body or a body part. For example, the hands are peripheral ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article BlindnessBlindness is a lack of vision. It may also refer to a loss of vision that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Partial blindness mean...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The child may show symptoms of diencephalic syndrome, which includes: Daytime sleeping Decreased memory and brain function Headaches Delayed growth Loss of body fat Vomiting Exams and Tests A brain and nervous system (neurologic) examination reveals a loss of vision in one or both eyes. There may be changes in the optic nerve, including swelling or scarring of the nerve, or paleness and damage to the optic disc.The tumor may extend into deeper parts of the brain. There may be signs of increased pressure in the brain (intracranial pressure). There may be signs of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).Neurofibromatosis type 1 Neurofibromatosis-1 (NF1) is an inherited disorder in which nerve tissue tumors (neurofibromas) form in the:Upper and lower layers of the skinNerves ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The following tests may be performed:Cerebral angiography Cerebral angiographyCerebral angiography is a procedure that uses a special dye (contrast material) and x-rays to see how blood flows through the brain.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Examination of tissue removed from the tumor during surgery or CT scan-guided biopsy to confirm the tumor type CTA computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging method that uses x-rays to create pictures of cross-sections of the body. Related tests include:Abdomin...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article BiopsyA biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue for laboratory examination.Read Article Now Book Mark Article Head CT scan or MRI of the head Head CT scanA head computed tomography (CT) scan uses many x-rays to create pictures of the head, including the skull, brain, eye sockets, and sinuses.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article MRI of the headA head MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create pictures of the brain and surrounding...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Visual field tests Treatment Treatment varies with the size of the tumor and the general health of the person. The goal may be to cure the disorder, relieve symptoms, or improve vision and comfort.Surgery to remove the tumor may cure some optic gliomas. Partial removal to reduce the size of the tumor can be done in many cases. This will keep the tumor from damaging normal brain tissue around it. Chemotherapy may be used in some children. Chemotherapy may be especially useful when the tumor extends into the hypothalamus or if vision has been worsened by the tumor's growth.Radiation therapy may be recommended in some cases when the tumor is growing despite chemotherapy, and surgery is not possible. In some cases, radiation therapy may be delayed because the tumor is slow growing. Children with NF1 usually won't receive radiation due to the side effects.Corticosteroids may be prescribed to reduce swelling and inflammation during radiation therapy, or if symptoms return. Support Groups Organizations that provide support and additional information include:Children's Oncology Group -- www.childrensoncologygroup.org Neurofibromatosis Network -- www.nfnetwork.org Outlook (Prognosis) The outlook is very different for each person. Early treatment improves the chance of a good outcome. Careful follow-up with a care team experienced with this type of tumor is important.Once vision is lost from the growth of an optic tumor, it may not return.Normally, the growth of the tumor is very slow, and the condition remains stable for long periods. However, the tumor can continue to grow, so it must be monitored closely. When to Contact a Medical Professional Contact your health care provider for any vision loss, painless bulging of the eye, or other symptoms of this condition. Prevention Genetic counseling may be advised for people with NF1. Regular eye exams may allow early diagnosis of these tumors before they cause symptoms.Open ReferencesReferencesEberhart CG. Eye and ocular adnexa. In: Goldblum JR, Lamps LW, McKenney JK, Myers JL, eds. Rosai and Ackerman's Surgical Pathology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 45.Goodden J, Mallucci C. Optic pathway hypothalamic gliomas. In: Winn HR, ed. Youmans and Winn Neurological Surgery. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2017:chap 207.Olitsky SE, Marsh JD. Abnormalities of the optic nerve. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 649.AllVideoImagesTogNeurofibromatosis I - enlarged optic foramen - illustration This x-ray shows the skull of a child with neurofibromatosis (NF-1). This child developed visual difficulties and was discovered to have a glioma (nerve tumor) in the optic nerve. The tumor has enlarged the bony opening (optic foramen), through which the optic nerve passes. This can be seen on the right side of picture.Neurofibromatosis I - enlarged optic foramenillustrationNeurofibromatosis I - enlarged optic foramen - illustration This x-ray shows the skull of a child with neurofibromatosis (NF-1). This child developed visual difficulties and was discovered to have a glioma (nerve tumor) in the optic nerve. The tumor has enlarged the bony opening (optic foramen), through which the optic nerve passes. This can be seen on the right side of picture.Neurofibromatosis I - enlarged optic foramenillustrationRelated Information Hypothalamic tumor(Condition)Benign(Special Topic)Neurofibromatosis-1(Condition)Vision problems(Symptoms)Blindness and vision loss(Symptoms)Brain tumors - primary(In-Depth) Review Date: 10/28/2021 Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. 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