Adult-onset acquired oculomotor nerve paresis with cyclic spasms: relationship to ocular neuromyotonia

American Journal of Ophthalmology
Neil R Miller, A G Lee

Abstract

To describe the characteristics and significance of acquired oculomotor nerve paresis with cyclic spasm. Retrospective case series of two patients with a history of previous skull base irradiation for intracranial tumor who developed double vision and were found to have oculomotor nerve paresis with cyclic spasm. Both patients underwent a complete neuroophthalmologic assessment, including testing of eyelid position, pupillary size and reactivity, and ocular motility and alignment during both the paretic and spastic phases of the condition. Both patients developed unilateral lid retraction and ipsilateral esotropia with limitation of abduction during the spastic phase of the cycle, with ipsilateral ptosis, exotropia, and variable limitation of adduction during the paretic phase. The cycles were continuous and were not induced or altered by eccentric gaze. Cyclic oculomotor nerve paresis with spasms may occur years after irradiation of the skull base. This condition is different from the more common ocular motor disturbance that occurs in this setting-ocular neuromyotonia. However, in view of the similarity between these two disorders, it seems likely that they are caused by a similar peripheral mechanism.

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