Background: Tuberculosis is a serious, and unfortunately common, infectious disease caused by the organism Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The incidence, mortality, and physical/ophthalmologic effects are well documented. Although most common ophthalmologic findings include optic neuropathy and uveitis, cranial nerve palsies may also present secondary to intracranial inflammation.
Case report: A 17-year-old Somalian girl was referred to the eye clinic with the chief concern of intermittent diplopia and headaches. Although monocular visual acuity was excellent, ocular positioning tests confirmed a subtle abduction deficit of the right eye. Medical history was remarkable for active tuberculosis.
Conclusion: Tuberculosis is a mediating factor for abducens nerve palsy in children. Understanding the relationship between the disease process and ocular ramifications is imperative for competent management.