Imaging Findings of Pediatric Orbital Masses and Tumor Mimics

Annie K. Joseph, Julie B. Guerin, Laurence J. Eckel, Lauren A. Dalvin, Gesina F. Keating, Greta B. Liebo, John C. Benson, Waleed Brinjikji, Nadia N. Laack, V. Michelle Silvera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pediatric orbital masses are not common but encompass a wide spectrum of benign and malignant entities that range from devel-opmental anomalies to primary and secondary orbital malignancies and metastatic disease. Certain orbital tumors are unique to pediatric patients, such as retinoblastoma and neuroblastoma. Clinical symptoms and signs are often insufficient to differentiate between orbital lesions, and imaging is essential for narrowing the diagnostic considerations and determining the most appropriate management strategy. MRI is the primary imaging modality for evaluating orbital masses in children, with US and CT playing complementary roles. The authors review a spectrum of masses and tumor mimics that affect the pediatric globe and orbit. The shared and differentiating characteristics of pediatric orbital lesions are reviewed. Emphasis is placed on utilizing an orbital compartment–based approach to narrow the differential diagnosis. By using this organizational scheme, the authors describe intraocular processes (retinoblastoma, persistent fetal vasculature, and Coats disease), intraconal lesions (lymphatic malformation, schwannoma, optic nerve sheath me-ningioma, and optic pathway glioma), extraconal lesions (infantile hemangioma, rhabdomyosarcoma, idiopathic orbital inflammation, lymphoma, venous varix, plexiform neurofibroma, and pleomor-phic adenoma of the lacrimal gland), and lesions involving the bony orbit (dermoid cyst, metastatic neuroblastoma, and Langerhans cell histiocytosis). The authors describe the basic management of each entity. Orbital infections and traumatic lesions are beyond the scope of this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-897
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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