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Glial Heterotopia of the orbit: A rare presentation

Ranju Sitaula*, Gulshan B Shrestha, Nabin Paudel, Sneha Shrestha and Dev N Shah

Author Affiliations

Department of Ophthalmology, B.P.Koirala Lions Centre for Ophthalmic Studies, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital, Maharajgunj, Kathmandu, Nepal. Post Box No.-8750

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BMC Ophthalmology 2011, 11:34  doi:10.1186/1471-2415-11-34

Published: 16 November 2011



Glial heterotopias are rare, benign, congenital, midline, non-teratomatous extracranial glial tissue. They may masquerade as encephalocoele or dermoid cyst and mostly present in nose. Herein, we present an unusual case of glial heterotopia of the orbit with unilateral blindness.

Case presentation

A 6 year-old-boy presented with a progressive painless mass over the nose and medial aspect of the left eye noticed since birth. On examination, the globe was displaced laterally by a firm, regular, mobile, non-pulsatile and non-tender medial mass. The affected eye had profound loss of vision. Computed tomography scan showed a large hypodense mass in the extraconal space with no intracranial connectivity and bony erosion. The child underwent total surgical excision of the mass and histopathological examination confirmed glial heterotopia of the orbit.


Though the incidence of this condition is rare, the need of appropriate diagnosis and management of such mass to prevent the visual and cosmetic deterioration is warranted. To our knowledge this is the first reported case of Glial heterotopia of orbit causing unilateral blindness.