chapter  53
Gliomas of the optic nerve and chiasm
ByThomas J. Cummings, Gordon K. Klintworth
Pages 12

An excellent historical review of the early history of optic nerve gliomas is found in the textbook of the late Sir Stewart Duke-Elder, with references about the earliest case reports dating back to the early 19th century (DukeElder, 1976). The occurrence of an optic nerve glioma with von Recklinghausen neurofibromatosis was first noted by von Michel in 1873, and a significant association between these two entities was documented by Davis in 1940. In 1912 Hudson reviewed 182 optic nerve tumors, distinguished optic nerve gliomas from optic sheath meningiomas, and divided them into three classes: gliomatous (within the nerve), endotheliomatous and fibromatous (associated with the nerve sheath) (Hudson, 1912). In 1922 Verhoeff noted that some tumors of the optic nerve were gliomas similar to those of the brain, and had no relation to malignant retinal ‘gliomas’ (retinoblastomas) (Verhoeff, 1922). Shortly thereafter, Martin and Cushing described seven gliomas involving the intracranial portion of the optic nerve and chiasm (Martin and Cushing, 1923).