Postpartum Recovery From Meningioma-Related Oculomotor Palsy

Obstet Gynecol. 2021 Apr 1;137(4):682-686. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000004330.


Background: We summarize a case of transient oculomotor nerve palsy in a pregnant woman with a cavernous sinus meningioma. When pregnant women present with acute ophthalmic signs and symptoms, meningioma should be considered during diagnostic workup given the common proximity of growing meningiomas to visual pathways and ocular motor nerves within the parasellar region.

Case: A 32-year-old woman, gravida 2 para 1, at 37 weeks of gestation, presented with 2 weeks of diplopia, left-sided ptosis, and left periocular headache. There were no signs of preeclampsia. Examination revealed a left mydriatic pupil, complete left-sided ptosis, and motility deficits consistent with a left pupil-involving oculomotor nerve palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a cavernous sinus meningioma. Five days after cesarean birth, the ptosis significantly improved; 2 weeks later, the diplopia resolved.

Conclusion: Pregnancy is associated with increased likelihood of intracranial meningioma growth, particularly in the parasellar region. We highlight a rare case of a transient cranial nerve III palsy in a pregnant patient due to cavernous sinus meningioma and review prior published reports.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Headache / etiology
  • Humans
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / complications
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Meningeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Oculomotor Nerve Diseases / complications
  • Oculomotor Nerve Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Neoplastic / diagnostic imaging
  • Prenatal Diagnosis*