Optic Nerve Hemangioblastoma: Review

World Neurosurg. 2019 Aug:128:211-215. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2019.04.224. Epub 2019 May 1.


Background: Hemangioblastomas of the optic nerve are very rare tumors. They occur in association with Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) syndrome; however, sporadic occurrences have been reported. We describe here a case of optic nerve hemangioblastoma in the absence of VHL and review the pertinent literature.

Case description: A 33-year-old woman presented with gradually progressive vision loss in the right eye. On examination, the visual acuity on the right was hand movement close to face in all quadrants. Color discrimination was impaired. Fundoscopy revealed optic atrophy and no other retinal pathology. There was relative afferent pupillary defect in the right eye. No neurocutaneous markers were found. Imaging revealed lesion isointense on T1, hyperintense on T2/fluid-attenuated inversion recovery, and showing relatively homogenous enhancement on postcontrast study. Multiple flow voids were seen in the intracranial part of the lesion. The proximal part of the intraorbital right optic nerve was enlarged and tortuous with distended optic nerve sheath. A right single-piece fronto-orbital craniotomy was done. A reddish lesion seen involving the right optic nerve just proximal to the chiasm with multiple vessels and a distinct feeding vessel was seen supplying the tumor. The lesion was excised and the optic nerve was sacrificed approximately 1 cm proximal to the chiasm. The postoperative course was uneventful.

Conclusions: Conclusions: Optic nerve hemangioblastoma is a rare occurrence and a high level of suspicion is required preoperatively in the absence of VHL syndrome.

Keywords: Arterial Spin Labelling; Hemangioblastoma; Optic nerve; Strawberry Red Spot; VHL.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Color Vision Defects / etiology
  • Female
  • Hemangioblastoma / complications
  • Hemangioblastoma / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hemangioblastoma / surgery
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Optic Nerve Neoplasms / complications
  • Optic Nerve Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Optic Nerve Neoplasms / surgery
  • Perfusion Imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • von Hippel-Lindau Disease