Pediatric Optic Pathway Gliomas: A Report From Northern Greece

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2023 Nov 1;45(8):445-451. doi: 10.1097/MPH.0000000000002753. Epub 2023 Sep 9.


Optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) are the most common pediatric optic nerve tumors. Their behavior ranges between rapid growth, stability, or spontaneous regression. Τhey are characterized by low mortality albeit with significant morbidity. We present the characteristics, management, and outcome of 23 OPG patients (16 females, median age: 4.8 y) managed in a Pediatric Oncology Department in Northern Greece over a 25-year period. Overall, 57% had a background of neurofibromatosis type 1. Diagnosis was based on imaging (10 patients) or biopsy (13 patients). Presenting symptoms were mostly visual impairment/squint (52%). Proptosis/exophthalmos, raised intracranial pressure, and headache were also noted. In 2 occasions, it was detected with surveillance magnetic resonance imaging in the context of neurofibromatosis type 1. Eight patients had unilateral and 2 bilateral optic nerve tumors (Modified Dodge Classification, stage 1a/1b), 3 had chiasmatic (stage 2a/b), and 10 had multiple tumors (stage 3/4). Predominant histology was pilocytic astrocytoma (77%). Management included: observation (4), chemotherapy only (9), surgery only (3), or various combinations (7). Chemotherapy regimens included vincristine and carboplatin, vinblastine, or bevacizumab with irinotecan. Most patients demonstrated a slow disease course with complete response/partial response to chemotherapy and/or surgery, whereas 39% presented ≥1 recurrences. After a median follow-up of 8.5 years (range to 19 y), 20 patients (87%) are still alive with stable disease, in partial/complete remission, or on treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytoma*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neurofibromatosis 1*
  • Optic Nerve Glioma* / diagnosis
  • Optic Nerve Glioma* / epidemiology
  • Optic Nerve Glioma* / therapy
  • Optic Nerve Neoplasms*
  • Retrospective Studies