A 12-year, prospective study of extraocular muscle imaging in complex strabismus.
INTRODUCTION: Diagnostic imaging by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed x-ray tomography (CT) has become the standard of care in many medical fields. Clinical imaging of the extraocular muscles (EOMs) can now provide insight into some causes of strabismus, in some cases challenging traditional concepts of etiology and suggesting alternative treatments. METHODS: Between 1990 and 2001, 62 orthotropic volunteers and 261 strabismic patients underwent orbital imaging under a prospective protocol. Surface coil MRI was performed with fixation control with slice thickness of 1.5 to 3 mm; CT was performed with 1-mm slice thickness. Images were correlated with ophthalmological examinations. RESULTS: MRI was performed in 267 and CT in 56 subjects. Comparison with normal orbits commonly demonstrated abnormalities of EOM size or location in strabismic patients. These included absence (5 patients) or atrophy (33 patients) of the superior oblique (SO) muscle in SO palsy; abnormalities of the trochlea or SO tendon in Brown's syndrome (8 patients); heterotopy of the rectus pulleys associated with incomitant strabismus (46 patients), including instability of pulleys (9 patients); trauma to rectus EOMs (16 patients); atrophy of the lateral rectus (10 patients), inferior rectus (4 patients), medial rectus (4 patients), superior rectus (4 patients), and inferior oblique (1 patient) muscles; and EOMs disinserted by scleral buckles (3 patients). EOM abnormalities correlated closely with clinically abnormal patterns of ocular motility. CONCLUSIONS: With the appropriate technique, EOM imaging is a valuable adjunct in clinical evaluation of complex strabismus. Because imaging can provide unique information unavailable from the clinical examination alone, it should be performed when indicated to evaluate patients with strabismus more complex than concomitant esotropia and exotropia.
Demer, JL; Clark, RA; Kono, R; Wright, W; Velez, F; Rosenbaum, AL
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