To report the course of ocular motor cranial nerve palsy due to herpes zoster.
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.
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.
Ophthalmoplegia secondary to herpes zoster ophthalmicus has good long-term prognosis for recovery.