Long-term visual outcomes in patients with orbitotemporal neurofibromatosis

Timothy H. Greenwell, Peter J. Anderson, Simon K. Madge, Dinesh Selva, David J. David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The study aimed to review the presentation and long-term visual outcomes of patients with orbitotemporal neurofibromatosis. Design: Retrospective case series. Participants: Patients with orbitotemporal neurofibromatosis presenting from 1981 to 2009. Methods: Demographic data, examination findings, causes of vision impairment and interventions performed were recorded for each patient from presentation through subsequent follow-up encounters. Visual impairment was defined as an ipsilateral Snellen acuity of <6/12. Main Outcome Measures: The proportion of patients with visual impairment or enucleation, the rate of new vision loss during follow up; and causes for vision loss or enucleation. Results: Thirty-seven patients (17 female) were included. Median presenting age was 15 years (range 2-45) with an average follow up of 7.4 years (range 0.5-20.3). Visual impairment occurred in 54% of patients at presentation. Causes were amblyopia (13 of 37), optic atrophy (4 of 37), previous enucleation/evisceration (2 of 37), and optic nerve glioma (1 of 37). At presentation, 76% of patients had ptosis, and 51% had strabismus. Thirty-one patients had surgery, with an average of two procedures per patient. At final follow up, 62% had visual impairment. The rate of visual decline was 2% per patient-years. Causes of visual decline were two patients with optic nerve atrophy, one with exposure keratitis and one whose cause was unknown. Five blind patients had enucleation. Conclusions: The first series of orbitotemporal neurofibromatosis to focus on visual outcomes was presented. Vision loss is common, with a high prevalence of amblyopia. Close monitoring from an early age is needed to prevent visual impairment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-270
Number of pages5
JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Craniofacial surgery
  • Neurofibromatosis type 1
  • Orbitofacial tumours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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