NEUROSARCOIDOSIS MASQUERADING AS A CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM TUMOR

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Abstract

Purpose:

To report a case of neurosarcoidosis with an isolated brain lesion mimicking a low-grade glioma.

Methods:

A 38-year-old woman presented with 2 weeks of blurry vision in the left eye. Ophthalmic examination, visual field testing, fluorescein angiography, laboratory testing, and MRI of the brain were performed.

Results:

Ophthalmic examination revealed left-sided optic nerve infiltration, and MRI of the brain demonstrated a solitary lesion in the brain. The visual symptoms and ophthalmic examination improved significantly with initiation of high-dose oral prednisone. Because the MRI appearance was concerning for malignancy, a brain biopsy was performed. Pathology demonstrated gliosis consistent with a low-grade central nervous system (CNS) glioma. One year later, after initial loss to ophthalmic follow-up, the right optic nerve became involved, and the patient was again treated successfully for presumed ocular sarcoidosis. At this time, serial neuroimaging demonstrated enlargement of the CNS lesion, prompting rebiopsy. Rebiopsy demonstrated a noncaseating granuloma, confirming the diagnosis of neurosarcoidosis. The patient was treated with 20 mg of methotrexate weekly and a prednisone taper with improvement in visual and neurologic symptoms.

Conclusion:

The authors present an unusual case of neurosarcoidosis masquerading as a CNS glioma. In cases of solitary CNS granulomas, radiographically differentiating neurosarcoidosis from a glioma can be challenging. In this case, serial ophthalmic examination identifying sequential involvement of both optic nerves helped to identify the underlying cause of the CNS disease as sarcoidosis.

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