Ocular motility in thalidomide embryopathy

J Pediatr Ophthalmol Strabismus. Jan-Feb 1991;28(1):47-54.


Twenty-one individuals, aged 28 to 29 years, with documented thalidomide embryopathy were examined in Sweden. The most noteworthy ophthalmologic finding was the high prevalence of incomitant horizontal strabismus, primarily of the Duane syndrome type. Less frequently seen were cases of both marked abduction and adduction limitation similar to a gaze paresis with no observable fissure changes, as well as a few cases of isolated abduction weakness or inferior oblique under-action. There were many examples of aberrant lacrimation, facial nerve palsy, and ear anomalies combined with horizontal incomitant forms of strabismus. Ear and facial nerve palsies are known to occur with ingestion of thalidomide early in the sensitive period (approximately days 21 to 26 after conception).

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Drug-Induced*
  • Adult
  • Embryo, Mammalian / drug effects
  • Eye Movements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange / drug effects
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / chemically induced*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Strabismus / chemically induced
  • Thalidomide / adverse effects*


  • Thalidomide