These pathlets are edutainment. This site collects no information about visitors,
and cannot substitute for your own doctor's care. There are many questions without clear
Let's start with this H&E section. You're viewing it cold.
Which among the following would you consider
as a possible diagnosis?
But hey, this is the 21st century. Let's order up some immunohistochemistry.
When you are ready, make your diagnosis.
Spindle Cell Carcinoma
Spindle Cell Lipoma
Solitary fibrous tumor
Spindle Cell Melanoma
This was taken for diagnosis during the 1950's from the maternal grandfather of our index patient,
who had several soft bumps on his skin. The patient was told "it was benign", and nothing
further. The family has no idea of the relevance of this sixty-year-old material to
the present situation.
Timmy, a six-year-old male, and his mother Martha present
to a pediatrician with complaints of Timmy not being able to see
the chalkboard in his first grade class. Mom said Timmy started complaining
at the end of kindergarten that he was having a hard time seeing but she ignored
his complaints because she didn’t have money to seek medical care. After a
parent-teacher conference, Mrs. Withers encouraged Martha to have Timmy’s
sight evaluated due to the fact that she had to move him to the front of the
classroom because he complained he could not see. Mrs. Withers also noted that Timmy
was having a hard time paying attention in class and frequently got out of his chair.
Timmy’s past medical and surgical history are unremarkable. Mom and Dad are both
living and healthy. Timmy is an only child. He is very active child and loves playing
little league but is often frustrated because he is unable to hit and catch the ball.
On physical exam Timmy is in the 50th percentile for a six-year-old boy in both
height and weight. Timmy is alert and oriented. Dr. Benson noted visual acuity of
20/70 in his right eye and 20/30 in his left eye. All other neurological exam
findings were normal.
Careful examination of Timmy’s body reveled 15 varying sized brown spots largely
concentrated on the lower abdomen and back with a few spots on the lower left buttocks.
Timmy also had several small-pigmented spots around his groin region. Mom didn’t
seek medical attention about Timmy’s “birthmarks” because both she and Timmy’s maternal grandfather have those birthmarks. Mom had the same small-pigmented spots in her armpits and she is unsure about grandpa. Timmy has normal bowel, lung and heart sounds. His temperature is 98.8 F, pulse 90, respiratory rate 22, and blood pressure 114/74. There are no other notable physical findings.
CBC and urinalysis are normal.
Among the following, which would you do FIRST?
Timmy visited the ophthalmologist.
A thorough eye exam was performed. In addition to decreased visual acuity the ophthalmologist
also noticed slight proptosis of the right eye.
In the right eye the optic nerve looks pale.
Also it was noted there were spots in the iris of both eyes, the expected "Lisch nodules".
Timmy was sent for a scan. The radiologist's impression was "optic nerve glioma."
What do we do now? Check all that you think are good choices.
Yearly eye exams, scan occasionally, pituitary labs maybe, do not treat the glioma
Resect the glioma surgically
Radiate the glioma
Chemotherapy for the glioma
If you have wondered why there are so few pictures of optic nerve gliomas, it's because
they're usually left alone.
Currently Timmy is a thriving 15-year-old male.
The doctors decided to closely monitor Timmy’s NF symptoms and his Optic Pathway Glioma.
MRI findings showed Optic Pathway Glioma is small and concentrated within the Right Optic
Nerve. There are no pituitary signs or symptoms.
Blood levels of pituitary hormones along with the MRI ruled out
pituitary involvement. This confirmed that there was no need for medical intervention.
Timmy’s vision was stable and correctable to 20/20 in both eyes.
About two years ago Timmy’s Optic Pathway Glioma slowly started regressing and at age 15 the Glioma, through MRI, appears to be gone.
The eye altering alters all. -- William Blake
Nature's great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing. -- John Donne
Crystal Worsena KCUMB '15
Back to KCUMB