Isolated upper eyelid retraction: a sign of idiopathic inflammatory orbital disease

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. Jan-Feb 2008;24(1):58-60. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0b013e3181602213.


A 41-year-old woman was examined for left upper eyelid retraction. Remaining ocular and systemic examination was unremarkable. Orbital CT demonstrated an ill-defined, extraconal, superior orbital soft-tissue mass involving the levator palpebrae superioris muscle. Incisional biopsy with histopathology demonstrated idiopathic orbital inflammation. The patient was started on a gradually tapering dose of oral steroids, for 6 weeks. On follow-up, the eyelid retraction had resolved. We report this case to demonstrate that idiopathic inflammatory orbital disease, localized to the superior orbit, may cause isolated upper eyelid retraction without associated proptosis. This condition resolves with medical therapy, leading to symmetrical palpebral apertures.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Eyelid Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Eyelid Diseases / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Orbit / diagnostic imaging
  • Orbital Pseudotumor / diagnosis*
  • Orbital Pseudotumor / drug therapy
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Glucocorticoids