Brown's syndrome

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2011 Sep;22(5):432-40. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0b013e328349b0ca.


Purpose of review: To better understand the various causes of Brown's syndrome, provide a historical account of the progression of Brown's syndrome, and to bring attention to clinical characteristics specific to Brown's syndrome.

Recent findings: The inability to elevate an eye in adduction is a common problem with a number of possible causes usually pointing to cyclovertical muscle involvement. The specific cause can usually be determined by either the three-step test or forced ductions. Because Brown's syndrome does not involve a paretic cyclovertical muscle but rather a mechanical muscle limitation, forced ductions instead of the three-step test must be used to evaluate a patient of Brown's syndrome and is crucial in the diagnosis.

Summary: The recognition of true Brown's syndrome can be accomplished by clinical examination and confirming the diagnosis with a positive forced duction test.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Eye Movements
  • Female
  • History, 19th Century
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / physiopathology
  • Oculomotor Muscles / physiopathology
  • Oculomotor Muscles / surgery*
  • Syndrome