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Possible association of congenital Brown syndrome with congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders

Journal of American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2012.09.005
  • Medicine


Background Congenital cranial dysinnervation disorders (CCDDs) are known to arise from abnormal development of individual and multiple cranial nerve nuclei or abnormalities in cranial nerve axonal transport. We report our findings for several patients with Brown syndrome in association with other known abnormalities characteristic of CCDDs. Methods The medical records of patients presenting during a 4-year period with congenital Brown syndrome were retrospectively reviewed. Patients with Brown syndrome confirmed by forced ductions were included in the study if the Brown syndrome was associated with either an abnormal development of the superior oblique muscle or superior oblique paresis, ptosis, Duane syndrome, or other known CCDDs. Results A total of 9 patients with Brown syndrome were identified. Of these, 3 also demonstrated a contralateral superior oblique palsy; 2, a contralateral Duane syndrome; 1, an ipsilateral congenital ptosis; and 3, a moderate to severely hypoplastic ipsilateral superior oblique muscle. Conclusions Some patients with congenital Brown syndrome are associated with and possibly in the spectrum of CCDDs. We propose that Brown syndrome may be due to abnormal development of the trochlear nerve, which results in physical changes in the superior oblique muscle-tendon-trochlea complex. This results in a tendon that is either long and lax, absent, or abnormally inserted (ie, superior oblique paresis) or a tendon that is restricted in its movements through the trochlea (Brown syndrome).

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