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Optic nerve gliomas: role of Ki-67 staining of tumour and margins in predicting long-term outcome
  1. Sonia N Yeung1,
  2. Valerie A White1,2,
  3. Michael Nimmo2,
  4. Jack Rootman1,2
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada
  2. 2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, British Columbia, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sonia N Yeung, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of British Columbia, 2550 Willow Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 3N9, Canada; sonia.y{at}


Background Although optic nerve gliomas (ONGs) are generally slow-growing with a good prognosis, factors for identifying cases that may pursue a more aggressive course are not well established. The authors investigated cell proliferation markers for prognostic significance in a series of resected ONGs.

Methods Twelve cases of resected ONG were identified out of a total of 38 examined at the authors' institution between 1981 and 2008. Clinical data were reviewed. Ki-67 and p53 immunohistochemical staining was performed on the tumour mass and the proximal resection margin.

Results All of the tumours were low-grade pilocytic astrocytomas. Six patients were suspected to have histologically positive proximal resection margins. Ki-67 labelling indices (LI) ranged from 0.3% to 5.9% (mean 2.4%) for the tumour mass and from 0 to 2.1% (mean 0.9%) for the proximal resection margins. One patient had evidence of progression 25 months after subtotal surgical resection. The Ki-67 LI of the proximal resection margin in this case was similar to the main tumour value. The other six patients with histologically negative proximal resection margins all had lower relative proliferation indices at the resection margin when compared with the tumour mass and are currently stable with no evidence of progression.

Conclusions Routine histological examination of resection margins may be difficult to interpret in the setting of reactive gliosis. A resection margin with a Ki-67 LI similar to the tumour bulk value may have an adjunctive role in identifying cases with the potential for growth thereby facilitating the decision-making process for future management and surveillance.

  • Optic nerve glioma
  • Ki-67
  • p53
  • pathology
  • neoplasia
  • Optic Nerve
  • Pathology
  • Neoplasia

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the University of British Columbia, Vancouver Hospital, and British Columbia Children's Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.