Defining optic nerve tortuosity

Gregory T. Armstrong, A. R. Localio, T. Feygin, L. Bilaniuk, P. C. Phillips, M. J. Fisher, B. L. Strom, R. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Optic nerve tortuosity is one of several nonmalignant abnormalities documented on MR imaging in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 and may be related to the development of optic pathway gliomas. This study seeks an operational definition for optic nerve tortuosity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A focus group of 3 pediatric neuroradiologists reviewed 20 MR images of the brain and orbits of patients suspected to have optic nerve tortuosity in the absence of optic pathway glioma and found 6 radiographic factors that occurred frequently. Subsequently, 28 MR images were assessed for the presence of optic nerve tortuosity, using a global assessment question that reflects a neuroradiologist's confidence in the presence of optic nerve tortuosity, and for the presence of the 6 radiographic factors, to identify a combination of these factors that best predicted a diagnosis of optic nerve tortuosity. RESULTS: We found perfect inter-rater agreement between 3 readers on the presence/absence of tortuosity in 75% of cases. Lack of congruity of the optic nerves, in more than 1 coronal section and dilation of the subarachnoid space surrounding the optic nerves, when found together are sensitive (89%) and specific (93%) for a diagnosis of tortuosity on the global scale. The absence of these 2 factors, along with absence of deviation of the optic nerve within the axial plane, provides a reliable test to exclude tortuosity. CONCLUSION: Lack of congruity of the optic nerves in more than 1 coronal section and dilation of the subarachnoid space surrounding the optic nerves together provide an operational radiographic definition of optic nerve tortuosity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-671
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Volume28
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes

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