Purpose: This study reports on neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)-associated optic pathway gliomas (OPGs) and a follow-up period of at least 10 years in a cohort of children. OPGs are a common manifestation of NF1 and can cause significant visual morbidity. Long-term follow-up in children with NF1-associated OPGs has not been reported previously. Design: Retrospective observational case series. Methods: This study included children with a documented follow-up of at least 10 years. Three final outcomes were evaluated: visual acuity (VA) per eye (i.e., in the more severely affected eye), VA per patient (i.e., VA when both eyes were open), and the presence of optic nerve head pallor. Results: A total of 45 children were included, followed for a mean of 14 years (range, 10-21 years). At the end of follow-up, abnormal VA (considered moderate to severe impairment) in the more severely affected eye was present in 36% of the patients and in both eyes in 11%. Optic nerve head pallor of 1 or both nerves was present in 62%. In multivariate analysis, only initial VA and optic nerve head appearance at presentation were found to predict the final outcomes. All patients, except for 1, were asymptomatic at presentation and had normal VA and nerves that appeared normal, preserved their good vision in both eyes. Only 1 patient, who had normal VA and normal appearing nerves at presentation, had moderate to severe VA loss at long term follow-up. Conclusions: In this study, children with NF1-associated OPG whose examination signs and symptoms were normal had a normal initial examination and excellent long-term visual and anatomical outcomes. VA and the appearance of the optic nerve head at presentation predict long-term outcome.
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