Oman Journal of Ophthalmology

: 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55--57

Fusiform appearance of optic nerve sheath meningioma: Correlating clinical and imaging findings

Konstantinos T Tsaousis, Dimitrios Balatsoukas 
 Department of Ophthalmology, Hippokration General Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Konstantinos T Tsaousis
Department of Ophthalmology, Hippokration General Hospital, Thessaloniki, 54642 Thessaloniki

How to cite this article:
Tsaousis KT, Balatsoukas D. Fusiform appearance of optic nerve sheath meningioma: Correlating clinical and imaging findings.Oman J Ophthalmol 2012;5:55-57

How to cite this URL:
Tsaousis KT, Balatsoukas D. Fusiform appearance of optic nerve sheath meningioma: Correlating clinical and imaging findings. Oman J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2022 Aug 20 ];5:55-57
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Full Text


Orbital optic nerve meningiomas (ONSMs) arise from the cap cells of the arachnoid round the intraorbital portion of the optic nerve. [1]

Diagnosis of ONSM is primarily based on imaging findings. Magnetic resonance imaging has become the gold standard for visualization of ONSMs. [2]

A number of radiographic growth patterns have been described: Tubular, globular, fusiform, and focal.

 Case Report

A 72-year-old woman presented to the consulting room with the complaint of proptosis in the left eye. The patient referred that proptosis was initially observed several years ago [Figure 1].{Figure 1}

Visual acuity examination was performed on both eyes (Snellen optotype at 6 m distance) and yielded 20/25 with correction of +0.50 D sphere in the right eye and 20/25 with correction of +1.75 D sphere in the left eye. Color perception found to be normal.

Anterior segment examination for both eyes did not show any severe pathology. Fundoscopic examination did not reveal edema or atrophy of the optic disc.

Standard visual field examination was performed in the patient twice and showed peripheral scotoma in the left eye [Figure 2].{Figure 2}

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study of the orbital cavities was ordered. In the MRI protocol T2, T2 with fat saturation, T1, T1 with fat saturation sequences, pre- and post-gadolinium injection on three different planes (axial, sagittal, and coronal) were performed. A fusiform mass of 3.4 cm was demonstrated in the left orbit. The mass appeared as hypointense to brain and optic nerve tissue on T1-weighted images and slightly hyperintense on T2-weighted images. There was no intracranial extension of the lesion or any sign of neighboring structure invasion [Figure 3].{Figure 3}

The benign noninvading growth pattern and the relatively steady clinical appearance corroborated the possibility of meningioma, and as a consequence diagnosis of optic nerve sheath meningioma was suggested.

After completing the examinations, the therapeutic strategy suggested to the patient by ophthalmologists and neurosurgeons included a systematic follow-up every 6 months in view of the fact that visual performance remained stable for a certain number of years.


These tumors are not related with any mortality or major neurological morbidity. The most vital manifestation of ONSMs, when untreated, is nearly at all times monocular visual deterioration. Therefore, treatment of ONSM has, in general, been considered apart from cases in which the progression of visual loss is insignificant.

Management of ONSMs has involved observation without treatment, mostly in cases of high functional vision or negligible visual decline. In such cases, a clinical examination, including assessment of visual acuity, color vision, and visual fields, should be conducted twice a year for 2 to 3 years, then once a year if the patient's visual function has remained stable. [3]

Due to technical complexities and tendency in the direction of postoperative blindness, surgery for ONSM has been replaced by radiation therapy which is now recognized as the most appropriate vision-preserving therapy for the management of ONSM in nondiabetic patients with progressive visual loss. [4] In specific, the short- and long-term efficacy of stereotactic fractionated radio therapy in preserving or improving vision came out to be exceptional. [5]

In the case presented, procedures such as biopsy or surgery were considered pointless, while patient's age was reasonably advanced and the danger of potential injure to the optic nerve considered elevated.


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3Eddleman CS, Liu JK. Optic nerve sheath meningioma: Current diagnosis and treatment. Neurosurg Focus 2007;23: E4.
4Metellus P, Kapoor S, Kharkar S, Batra S, Jackson JF, Kleinberg L, et al. Fractionated conformal radiotherapy for management of optic nerve sheath meningiomas: Long-term outcomes of tumor control and visual function at a single institution. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2011;80:185-92.
5Lesser RL, Knisely JP, Wang SL, Yu JB, Kupersmith MJ. Long-term response to fractionated radiotherapy of presumed optic nerve sheath meningioma. Br J Ophthalmol 2010;94:559-63.