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Recovery of Ocular Motor Cranial Nerve Palsy After Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus

Chhabra, Manpreet S. MD; Golnik, Karl C. MD, MEd

Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology: March 2014 - Volume 34 - Issue 1 - p 20–22
doi: 10.1097/WNO.0b013e3182a59c69
Original Contribution

Objective: To report the course of ocular motor cranial nerve palsy due to herpes zoster.

Methods: A retrospective chart review identified patients with ocular motor cranial nerve palsy occurring at the time of herpes zoster ophthalmicus. Patients were seen by a single neuro-ophthalmologist from 1994 to 2012.

Results: Twenty-one patients were identified; 3 were excluded because of incomplete follow-up. Nine (50%) had complete recovery and 8 (44%) had partial recovery but no diplopia in primary gaze (mean time = 10 weeks). One patient with complete ophthalmoplegia had persistent diplopia in primary position for recovery.

Conclusion: Ophthalmoplegia secondary to herpes zoster ophthalmicus has good long-term prognosis for recovery.

Department of Ophthalmology (MSC, KCG), University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Eye Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio; and the Virdi Eye Clinic (MSC), Rock Island, Illinois.

Address correspondence to Karl C. Golnik, MD, MEd, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Cincinnati, 260 Stetson Street, Suite 5300, Cincinnati, OH 45267, E-mail:

Supported by Research to Prevent Blindness.

Presented in part as a poster at the AAO Annual Meeting in Chicago in 2012.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2014 by North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society