Optic neuropathy due to anaplastic large cell lymphoma

James G. Howard, Andrew G. Lee, Mark Garwood, Brian K. Link, James E. Wooldridge, Patricia Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose. To report a case of anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) of the central nervous system (CNS) producing an optic neuropathy. Methods. Observational case report. Results. A 29-year-old male presented with new onset headaches. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain revealed a large enhancing parietal lobe mass. Ocular exam at that time was normal. Initial diagnoses included possible bacterial cerebritis and fungal abscess. Serial lumbar punctures showed increased white blood cells but cytology was negative. A brain biopsy was non-diagnostic. The patient then presented with a left optic neuropathy. Repeat MRI of the brain and orbits revealed infiltration of the clivus and left orbital apex including the optic nerve. The patient had elevated liver function studies and an abdominal ultrasound disclosed two hypoechoic lesions. Liver biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of ALK-1 positive ALCL. The patient was treated with chemotherapy but expired seven months after the initial presentation. Conclusion. ALCL should be considered to be a very rare but potential cause of optic neuropathy. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of ALCL causing an optic neuropathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalSeminars in Ophthalmology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • ALCL
  • Optic neuropathy
  • T-cell lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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