Facial asymmetry in superior oblique muscle palsy and pulley heterotopy.
INTRODUCTION: Some observers have considered facial asymmetry as characteristic of congenital superior oblique muscle (SO) palsy. However, recent orbital imaging studies have determined that incomitant vertical strabismus resembling SO palsy can be caused by heterotopic rectus muscle pulleys. This finding suggests that facial asymmetry may predict the presence of abnormal orbital anatomy rather than be secondary to ocular torticollis. METHODS: Subjects who underwent orbital computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging were divided into 5 groups based on clinical evaluation and previously established imaging criteria: (1) congenital SO palsy; (2) acquired SO palsy; (3) strabismus with pulley heterotopy; (4) strabismus without SO palsy or pulley heterotopy; and (5) orthotropic subjects. Frontal photographs were digitized and the following 3 facial morphometric features recorded: (1) angle of inclination of each orbit; (2) relative facial size; and (3) facial angle. RESULTS: The 79 subjects who underwent imaging were divided into the 5 groups as follows: 6 with congenital SO palsy; 7 with acquired SO palsy; 20 with pulley heterotopy; 26 with strabismus without SO palsy or pulley heterotopy; and 20 control subjects. All subjects with either congenital or acquired SO palsy had torticollis. Multivariate analysis demonstrated no significant differences in any of the 3 facial morphometric features among any of the groups. CONCLUSION: Facial asymmetry as assessed by these 3 morphometric features is not useful in distinguishing between congenital SO palsy or pulley heterotopy and other acquired forms of strabismus. This finding casts doubt on the relationship between ocular torticollis and facial asymmetry.
Velez, FG; Clark, RA; Demer, JL
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)