Revista de neurologia

[Horner's syndrome secondary to ophthalmic herpes zoster].

PMID 9528032


Ophthalmoparesias is a frequent complication of ophthalmic herpes zoster. It occurs in 31% of all cases. However, the presence of Horner's syndrome during viral reactivation is a rarity which has only been previously described on two occasions, and never associated with cranial nerve involvement. We describe a patient with the first case of Horner's syndrome secondary to ophthalmic herpes zoster, with simultaneous, homolateral lesions of the third and sixth cranial nerves. Clinical evaluation, the course of the disorder, negative magnetic resonance studies and tests with cocaine and foledrin eye drops confirmed the presence of a post-ganglionar sympathetic lesion, probably situated in the ipsilateral cavernous sinus. Ophthalmoparesias as a complication of ophthalmic herpes zoster may have various origins. Diffusion of viral particles from the Gasserian ganglion and branches of the trigeminal nerve to adjacent structures, muscles, nerves and vessels, is the mechanism often mentioned. Presence of a simultaneous sympathetic lesion is very rare and of unknown pathology. However, it is probable that the origin of the lesion of the vegetative fibres is the same as that of the sensory or motor fibres, and adjacent inflammatory process caused by the virus extending. We analyze the factors involved in the low incidence of this association.

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