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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Optic gliomas in neurofibromatosis type 1: role of visual evoked potentials.

Optic gliomas occur in 15% of patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF 1) and are a significant cause of morbidity. Of these tumors, 20-30% become symptomatic, usually before age 10 years. Previous studies have suggested that visual evoked potentials (VEPs) are a sensitive method for the detection of asymptomatic optic gliomas. Because routine neuroimaging of children with NF 1 is currently not recommended, the role of pattern-shift VEPs (PS VEPs) as a screening test for optic gliomas was evaluated. PS VEPs were performed on 10 children with NF 1 and optic gliomas and 20 children with NF 1 and normal visual pathways (as defined on MRI). PS VEPs had 90% sensitivity for detecting optic gliomas, with an increase in sensitivity to 100% when hemifield stimulation was used. The specificity of the test was 60%. Four of 20 children without optic gliomas had thickened optic nerves on computed tomography which represented dural ectasia with normal visual pathways on MRI; PS VEPs were normal in these patients. The efficacy of PS VEPs as a routine screen for optic gliomas is limited by the age at which children will cooperate with the test procedure and the high incidence of false-positive results; however, VEPs do provide a useful adjunct to routine clinical ophthalmologic assessment in the detection of optic gliomas in children with NF 1. Abnormal test results provide a stronger indication for neuroimaging. The early detection of optic gliomas allows for close monitoring of tumor progression and earlier intervention prior to significant visual loss.[1]


  1. Optic gliomas in neurofibromatosis type 1: role of visual evoked potentials. North, K., Cochineas, C., Tang, E., Fagan, E. Pediatric neurology. (1994) [Pubmed]
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