Hereditary external ophthalmoplegia, synergistic divergence, jaw winking, and oculocutaneous hypopigmentation: A congenital fibrosis syndrome caused by deficient innervation to extraocular muscles

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Background: The congenital fibrosis syndrome is a hereditary form of external ophthalmoplegia that is considered to be a primary myopathy. Purpose: To document the coexistence of two distinct forms of ocular motor synkinesis in a subgroup of patients with congenital fibrosis syndrome. Methods: Clinical and intraoperative examination results and extraocular muscle biopsy specimens from four patients with congenital fibrosis syndrome were studied. Results: Three patients displayed a variant of synergistic divergence characterized by simultaneous abduction with intorsion and depression of the synkinetically abducting eye. Three patients had variant of Marcus Gunn jaw winking characterized by elevation of a ptotic eyelid during mouth opening. Three patients had oculocutaneous hypopigmentation. Conclusions: A subgroup of patients with congenital fibrosis syndrome display two distinct synkinetic ocular movements in conjunction with oculocutaneous hypopigmentation. The patterns of neuronal misdirection implicate a regional innervational disturbance involving cranial nerves III through VI as the underlying cause of diffuse hereditary ophthalmoplegia in these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-725
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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