Third nerve palsies

Semin Neurol. 2000;20(1):55-74. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-6833.


The diagnosis and management of third nerve dysfunction varies according to the age of the patient, characteristics of the third nerve palsy, and presence of associated symptoms and signs. Indeed, third nerve palsies may be partial or complete, congenital or acquired, isolated or accompanied by signs of more extensive neurological involvement. They can result from lesions located anywhere from the oculomotor nucleus to the termination of the third nerve in the extra-ocular muscles within the orbit. Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging facilitate early diagnosis; however, management of a patient presenting with an isolated third nerve palsy remains a challenge.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Oculomotor Nerve / pathology*
  • Oculomotor Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Oculomotor Nerve Diseases / pathology*
  • Oculomotor Nerve Diseases / physiopathology*