The term "glioma of the optic nerve" has been employed commonly to designate a primary tumor arising in the anterior visual pathways (optic nerve, chiasm, and optic tracts). Recently, during a larger study of tumors of the orbit and its contents, it became apparent that a fair proportion of the growths took origin from the optic nerve. It next emerged that primary neoplasms of the optic chiasm and of the optic tracts were at least as common as those of its orbital segment. Moreover, regardless of the point of origin or the extent of the process, these new growths had similar microscopic characteristics and were gliomas rather than neurofibromas. Clinically such a disproportionately large number of them affected children that a congenital origin seemed suggested, and the more-than-occasional associated phenomena of neurofibromatosis (von Recklinghausen's disease) implied that they might even be neoplasms of a hereditary type. These observations were confirmed
DODGE HW, LOVE JG, CRAIG WM, DOCKERTY MB, KEARNS TP, HOLMAN CB, HAYLES AB. Gliomas of the Optic Nerves. AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1958;79(6):607–621. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1958.02340060003001
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