Este sitio utiliza cookies propias y de terceros. Algunas de las cookies son necesarias para navegar. Para habilitar o limitar categorías de cookies accesorias, o para obtener más información, personaliza la configuración.

What are they?

They are tumours that affect children and originate in the orbit, that is to say, in the tissue around the eye. These tumours may come from the bones, muscles, optic nerve, veins or the fat covering the tissue.

Symptoms

Children with orbital tumours may have one eye more protruding and open (protopsis), double vision (diplopia) and loss of vision if it affects the posterior part of the eyeball.

Causes and risk factors

Orbital tumours in paediatric age are congenital, meaning they are present from birth. No risk factors have been described.

Types

 

Benign tumours in paediatric age are the most common. The group of benign tumours includes dermoid cysts and vascular lesions such as capillary hemangioma and glioma of the optic nerve.

  • Dermoid cysts are painless, yellowish, sack-like lumps that are firm and stretchy. They are present from birth and tend to grow slowly. 
  • Capillary hemangiomas are red or blueish colour lumps (depending on their depth) that usually appear a few weeks or months after birth, with quick initial growth, then they disappear on their own over the following years. 
  • Glioma of the optic nerve may affect one or both optic nerves, which are nerves that carry the visual information from each eye to the brain. The manifestations of this type of tumour are due to the fact that the tumour grows and presses against the optic nerve, causing involuntary movements of the eyeball, proptopis of one or both eyes and even strabismus.

The most common paediatric malignant tumour is rhabdomyosarcoma.

  • Rhabdomyosarcoma develops from the muscles. The most common symptom is proptosis of the eye. It may occur at any age, but it most frequently affects children. There are other less common lesions that affect the orbit during paediatric age.         

Prevention

There aren't any methods of preventing orbital tumours in paediatric age. However, we do recommend having periodic eye check-ups and seeing an ophthalmologist should you have symptoms of proptosis, diplopia or loss of vision. 

Treatment

The treatment for dermoid tumours is surgical removal and we usually wait until the child is at least 8 years old, unless the child's normal visual development is mechanically hindered or there is some other type of complication. 

As they tend to go away on their own, capillary hemangiomas do not usually require treatment just regular check-ups. They will only require treatment if they're hindering normal eye opening and development of vision, or for aestethic reasons. If the rhabdomyosarcoma can be resected, it is operated on and then orbital chemotherapy or radiotherapy will be administered. 

Professionals who treat this pathology

Frequently asked questions