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Ophthalmology. 1984 May;91(5):425-53.

Acquired nystagmus in early childhood: a presenting sign of intracranial tumor.


This study is a multicenter, retrospective report of 10 infants in whom acquired nystagmus was the initial sign of chiasmal/ parachiasmal glioma. Nine patients presented before the age of 10 months. The nystagmus, primarily described as pendular and asymmetric, was difficult to differentiate from and therefore most often diagnosed as spasmus nutans . On average in the ten patients, the intracranial glioma was not recognized for 8.6 months after the onset of nystagmus. In the five diagnosed as spasmus nutans , the mean delay in recognizing the tumor was 14.5 months. Three associated clinical findings were present or developed in these patients to distinguish this entity from spasmus nutans : optic atrophy in all ten patients, poor feeding due to diencephalic syndrome in 5 of 10, and increased intracranial pressure with hydrocephalus in 3 of 10. The acquired nystagmus in these infants was evidence of a life-threatening chiasmal/ parachiasmal glioma.

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