Magnetic Resonance Imaging in 14 Patients with Congenital Oculomotor Nerve Palsy

  • Hee Kyung Yang
  • Jae Hyoung Kim
  • Jeong-Min Hwang
Original Article



To elucidate the imaging findings of congenital oculomotor nerve palsy by evaluating the oculomotor nerve and extraocular muscles on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in a relatively large series of 14 patients with congenital oculomotor nerve palsy.


Ophthalmologic examination of 14 consecutive patients diagnosed with congenital oculomotor nerve palsy, and MR imaging of the orbit and oculomotor nerves were performed.


Of the 14 patients with congenital oculomotor nerve palsy, 13 patients (93%) were unilateral and 12 patients (86%) had incomplete palsy. On MR imaging, 5 patients (36%) had hypoplasia or aplasia of the oculomotor nerve with variable degrees of extraocular muscle atrophy on the affected side. Of the 14 patients, nine (64%) had normal-sized oculomotor nerves with or without muscle atrophy. The most frequently involved muscles were the inferior rectus (64%) and medial rectus (50%), followed by the superior rectus (29%) and inferior oblique muscles (14%). None of the 14 patients showed an abnormal abducens nerve.


Congenital oculomotor nerve palsy was mostly incomplete and hypoplasia or aplasia of the oculomotor nerve was apparent in one third of patients showing variable degrees of extraocular muscle atrophy, mostly of the medial rectus and inferior rectus muscles.


Congenital hypoplasia Aplasia Congenital cranial dysinnervation disorder Third nerve palsy Congenital strabismus 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government (MSIP) (No. 2017R1A2B4011450) (JMH) and by the SNUBH research fund (No. 02-2016-051).

Conflict of interest

H.K. Yang, J.H. Kim and J.-M. Hwang declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hee Kyung Yang
    • 1
  • Jae Hyoung Kim
    • 2
  • Jeong-Min Hwang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul National University College of MedicineSeoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnamKorea (Republic of)
  2. 2.Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of MedicineSeoul National University Bundang HospitalSeongnamKorea (Republic of)

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