Ophthalmologic outcome after third cranial nerve palsy or paresis in childhood.

A. V. Mudgil, M. X. Repka

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32 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the causes and ophthalmologic outcome of oculomotor nerve palsy or paresis in children younger than 8 years of age. METHODS: Patients evaluated between 1985 and 1997 were retrospectively reviewed. Data analyzed included vision, residual strabismus after surgery, aberrant reinnervation, binocular function, and anisometropia. Long-term outcome was assessed in patients followed-up longer than 6 months. RESULTS: Forty-one patients were identified. The most frequent causes were congenital (39%), traumatic (37%), and neoplastic (17%). Visual acuities were reduced in 71% of patients at the time of the initial visit. Long-term outcome could be assessed in 20 of the 41 patients (49%), with a mean follow-up of 3.6 years (range, 0.5 to 13 years). Visual acuities were reduced because of amblyopia in 35% and nonamblyopic factors in 25% of patients in the long-term outcome group at last follow-up. The best response to amblyopia therapy was in the congenital group, in which all patients improved to normal visual acuity. Strabismus surgery was performed on 8 of 20 children (40%) followed-up, none of whom demonstrated measurable stereopsis after operation despite improved alignment. Aberrant reinnervation was present in 9 of 20 patients (45%). Only 3 patients fully recovered from their oculomotor nerve injuries, and these were the only patients to regain measurable stereopsis. The causes in those 3 patients were congenital, traumatic, and neoplastic. CONCLUSIONS: Oculomotor nerve palsy/paresis is associated with poor visual and sensorimotor outcome in children younger than 8 years of age. The best ophthalmologic outcome was in the resolved cases (3 of 20; 15%). Amblyopia therapy was most effective with congenital causes, but treatment results were poor with other causes. Young children with posttraumatic and postneoplastic oculomotor nerve injuries demonstrated the worst ophthalmologic outcomes.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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