Sphenoid Dysplasia in Neurofibromatosis: Patterns of Presentation and Outcomes of Treatment

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Abstract

Background:

Sphenoid wing dysplasia in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 may result in challenging and significant changes, including ultimately vision loss. The authors describe the radiographic patterns of sphenoid dysmorphology with time and age, and the impact of surgical intervention on preservation of vision.

Methods:

A retrospective study was performed at a single pediatric hospital, identifying subjects with neurofibromatosis type 1. Records were reviewed in their entirety for each subject, with attention to ophthalmologic evaluation. Radiographic images were digitally analyzed and scored for sphenoid transformations on a grade of 0 to 3.

Results:

Fifty-two subjects were identified. On initial imaging, 42.31 percent had a normal sphenoid (grade 0), 32.69 percent had an abnormal contour (grade 1), 11.54 percent had thinning (grade 2), and 13.46 percent had a gross defect (grade 3). Among the 45 subjects with serial imaging, 55.56 percent demonstrated progression of the deformity of at least one grade. Deformity progression correlated with length of imaging interval. Enucleation was noted to occur more often in subjects with a gross sphenoid defect (p < 0.0001). Of subjects identified as having a gross sphenoid defect, 26.7 percent were managed using orbitosphenoid reconstruction with titanium mesh and cranial bone graft, and 33.3 percent were managed with soft-tissue debulking and canthopexy only. Vision was more likely to be preserved with early orbitosphenoid reconstruction (p < 0.05).

Conclusions:

Sphenoid dysplasia is a progressive disease. Loss of vision is associated with a gross defect, and appears to be better preserved with early orbitosphenoid reconstruction with titanium mesh and cranial bone graft.

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