Optic pathway-hypothalamic glioma hemorrhage: a series of 9 patients and review of the literature

J Neurosurg. 2018 Dec 1;129(6):1407-1415. doi: 10.3171/2017.8.JNS163085.


OBJECTIVEHemorrhage (also known as apoplexy) in optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) is rare. Because of the variable presentations and low incidence of OPG hemorrhages, little is known about their clinical course and the best treatment options. The aim of this work was to review risk factors, clinical course, and treatment strategies of optic glioma hemorrhages in the largest possible number of cases.METHODSA total of 34 patients were analyzed. Nine new cases were collected, and 25 were identified in the literature. Data regarding demographics, radiological and histological features, treatment, and outcome were retrospectively reviewed.RESULTSThe majority of patients were younger than 20 years. Only 3 patients were known to have neurofibromatosis. The histopathological diagnosis was pilocytic astrocytoma in the majority of cases. Five patients had intraorbital hemorrhages, whereas 29 patients had intracranial hemorrhage; the majority of intracranial bleeds were treated surgically. Six patients, all with intracranial hemorrhage, died due to recurrent bleeding, hydrocephalus, or surgical complications. No clear risk factors could be identified.CONCLUSIONSIntracerebral OPG hemorrhages have a fatal outcome in 20% of cases. Age, hormonal status, neurofibromatosis involvement, and histopathological diagnosis have been suggested as risk factors for hemorrhage, but this cannot be reliably established from the present series. The goals of surgery should be patient survival and prevention of further neurological and ophthalmological deterioration.

Keywords: EVD = external ventricular drain; NF1 = neurofibromatosis type 1; OPG = optic pathway glioma; VP = ventriculoperitoneal; apoplexy; astrocytoma; blindness; hemorrhage; hypothalamic glioma; low-grade glioma; neurofibromatosis; oncology; optic glioma; third ventricle.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Astrocytoma / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ganglioglioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Ganglioglioma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / diagnostic imaging
  • Intracranial Hemorrhages / pathology*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Optic Nerve Glioma / diagnostic imaging
  • Optic Nerve Glioma / pathology*