Managing the patient with oculomotor nerve palsy

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To provide clinically relevant information regarding the evaluation and current treatment options for oculomotor nerve palsies. We survey recent literature and provide some insights into these studies.

Recent findings

Recent case reports highlight emerging new causes of oculomotor cranial nerve palsies, including sellar chordoma, odontogenic abscess, nonaneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, polycythemia, sphenoiditis, neurobrucellosis, interpeduncular fossa lipoma, metastatic pancreatic cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma. Surgical studies have focused on modifications and innovations regarding strabismus surgery for this condition. New globe fixation procedures may include fixation to the medial orbital wall by precaruncular and retrocaruncular approaches, apically based orbital bone periosteal flap fixation and the suture/T-plate anchoring platform system.

Summary

Management of oculomotor nerve palsy depends in part upon the underlying cause and anatomical location of the lesion. Careful clinical evaluation and appropriate imaging can identify a definitive cause in most cases. Surgical options depend on the number, extent, and severity of the muscles involved as well as the presence or absence of signs of aberrant regeneration. The clinician should also address issues that arise due to involvement of the pupil and accommodation. Strabismus surgery can be challenging but also rewarding with appropriate selection and staging of procedures.

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