Acute Onset Variable and Progressive Trochlear Nerve Palsy and Ophthalmoparesis Secondary to Bilateral Carotid Cavernous Fistula.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Purpose: To describe a patient who presented with right unilateral white-eyed posteriorly-draining carotid-cavernous fistulas (CCF) causing an isolated, acute-onset trochlear nerve palsy with atypical progression to a contralateral left red-eyed anteriorly-draining CCF associated with orbital congestion.Observation: A 74-year-old female presented with an acute onset incomitant right hypertropia consistent with the clinical diagnosis of a superior oblique palsy. Initial workup including MRI was normal. During a several-week course, she progressed to a comitant deviation. Six-weeks later she developed an episode of severe headache followed by worsening of her diplopia, reverse left hypertropia and left orbital congestive signs. CTA revealed mild opacification of the left cavernous sinus without a concomitantly present superior ophthalmic vein dilatation. A diagnostic angiogram was obtained which revealed a posterior-draining indirect CCF of the right internal carotid artery (ICA) and an anterior-draining indirect CCF of the left ICA. Transvenous Coil embolization resulted in immediate resolution of diplopia, orbital congestion, and headaches.Conclusion: Although it is atypical for a CCF - or other vascular pathology - to present with an isolated fourth nerve palsy, this case illustrates that vascular imaging should be considered in cases of acquired ocular motor paresis associated with headaches and cases with atypical progression despite normal initial cranial imaging.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Bonafede, L; Patel, A; El-Dairi, M; Ozzello, DJ; Velez, FG

Published Date

  • April 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 50 - 54

PubMed ID

  • 33856970

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2576-1218

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/2576117X.2021.1903670


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States