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Rilliet B.,University of Geneva | Pittet B.,University of Geneva | Montandon D.,University of Geneva | Narata A.P.,University of Geneva | And 5 more authors.

Plexiform neurofibromas of the orbit, sometimes extending to the temporal region and the face, are considered to be a rare but devastating and disfiguring complication of neurofibromatosis type 1. The first symptoms appear in infancy and the involvement of the orbit and the face is present in nearly all children after the age of 5. The disease is unilateral in most cases but can exceptionally involve both sides of the face. Progressive deformation of the orbital frame due to the expanding plexiform neurofibroma and buphthalmos occurs in a large proportion of cases. The associated sphenoidal dysplasia, which is thought to be, according to the most recent hypothesis, genetically determined, will inescapably increase the burden to the orbital content, cause pulsating proptosis and will endanger noble structures, finally resulting in loss of vision. Using the Jackson classification, the authors report their personal series of 22 cases (19 operated). Until now, there has been no effective medical treatment for plexiform neurofibroma and surgery remains the standard care for these patients. Controversies remain about the timing of the first operation and today most multidisciplinary teams involving plastic, maxillofacial, ophthalmologic, and neurosurgeons favor early intervention to try to minimize the secondary deformation of the orbital and facial skeleton. A number of cases of plexiform neurofibromas are illustrated within the three Jackson groups and treatment results of the rare elephantiasis neuromatosa cases are presented. Special techniques such as preoperative embolization of heavily vascularized plexiform neurofibroma are also discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. Source

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