Purpose: To report a patient with optic nerve (ON) sheath meningioma, unilateral optic disc swelling, and inhomogeneous cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) composition between lumbar CSF and CSF from the subarachnoid space (SAS) of the affected ON.
Methods: A 39-year-old woman presented with unilateral optic disc swelling and slight deterioration of visual function in the left eye. Extensive laboratory workup and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and orbits were performed. As radiotherapy was refused by the patient, ON sheath fenestration (ONSF) was offered and performed in order to stop deterioration. CSF from the SAS of the ON was sampled.
Results: Laboratory workup was within normal limits. MRI of the left orbit demonstrated enhancement of the dura in the precanalicular portion of the ON and distension of the SAS, most prominent in the bulbar portion of the ON. On lumbar puncture the opening pressure measured 19 (cm H2O). Compared to the lumbar CSF the CSF of the affected ON SAS showed markedly elevated measurements for albumin, IgG, and beta-trace protein. Visual function remained stable over a follow-up time of 18 months.
Conclusions: Composition of CSF is considered to be homogenous throughout all CSF spaces. In this patient the authors found a marked concentration-gradient of albumin, IgG, and beta-trace protein between the CSF in the spinal canal and the CSF in the SAS of the affected ON. Based on the radiologic features of the left ON and the dissociated beta-trace protein concentrations in the CSF of the SAS of the ON and the lumbar CSF, the diagnosis of an ON sheath compartment syndrome due to an ON sheath meningioma was made.