Surgically created fourth-third cranial nerve communication: temporary success in a child with bilateral third nerve hamartomas. Case report

J Neurosurg. 1999 Mar;90(3):542-5. doi: 10.3171/jns.1999.90.3.0542.


Shortly after birth, an otherwise healthy infant developed eye deviation and ptosis due to a hamartomatous lesion of the interpeduncular segment of the right oculomotor nerve. The left nerve became similarly involved when the child was 1.5 years of age. Direct nerve repair was not possible. Instead, the trochlear nerve was divided and its proximal end was attached to the distal end of the third nerve. Elevation of the upper eyelid and partial adduction of the eye developed gradually over the ensuing 3 to 5 months. Both functions were lost after an additional 2 months, presumably as a result of tumor recurrence or neuroma formation. This case report shows that surgically created fourth-third cranial nerve communication is feasible and may merit consideration under similar circumstances.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical*
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / complications
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / surgery*
  • Hamartoma / complications
  • Hamartoma / diagnosis
  • Hamartoma / physiopathology
  • Hamartoma / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Neural Pathways / surgery
  • Oculomotor Nerve / surgery*
  • Oculomotor Nerve Diseases / etiology
  • Time Factors
  • Trochlear Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Trochlear Nerve / surgery*