Optic Glioma

Optic Glioma

What is an optic glioma?

 It is basically a slow brain tumor that arises from astrocytes ( star-shaped cells; it is a type of glial cells known as helping cells of the nerve), which affects the optic nerve. Optic Glioma is associated with a genetic disorder, Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1).


Optic Glioma is often referred to as low-grade cancers. But these gliomas have a very low propensity for it to become malignant. That means they do not spread to other parts of the body.

Optic Glioma occurs when there is an excess proliferation of Astrocytes; thus, the formation of the nerve’s fusiform enlargement causes a problem in the optical nerve.

They are generally found in younger children aging between 4-8 years. It is rarely found in older children and adults.

Optic glioma Symptoms


As it is a low-grade tumor, sometimes patients ( generally children) don’t show any symptoms. But most Signs and symptoms may include:



  • Proptosis (Forward protrusion of eyeball)


  • Abnormal pupillary function



  • Squinting


  • Involuntary movement of the eye


  • Painless


It can be accompanied by other symptoms like:



  • Vomiting


  • Delayed growth

Causes of Optic Glioma


Optic Glioma is very rare, and the actual cause of these gliomas is still yet unknown, but people having a history of Neurofibromatosis type 1 are at more risk of getting Optic Glioma.

Diagnosis of Optic glioma


For Diagnosis of Optic Glioma, tests may include:


  • Visual acuity test


  • Computerized Tomography (CT) scan


  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 


CT scan and MRI is done to observe the enlargement in the back of the eye.


Treatment of Optic Glioma


If the patient’s vision is ok or if the size of the tumor is very small or growing at a very slow rate, then chemotherapy or other medical treatment are done, or the patient is kept under observation.


 Surgery is only required when there is too much problem in vision or with no visual function or a demonstrated growth found in MRI towards the chiasm or optical canal enlargement or disfiguring proptosis or rapid progressive proptosis.

Radio Therapy

 If surgery is not possible due to some reason (age or other factors), then Radio Therapy is applied to treat Optic Glioma.

optic glioma treatment


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