Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
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Year : 1990  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 51-3  

Duane's retraction syndrome with facial hemiatrophy (a case report).

DC Sharma, PS Parihar, DC Kumawat, S Ramakrishnan, R Dave, HN Bhatnagar, LK Bhatnagar 
 Department of Medicine, R.N.T. Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India., India

Correspondence Address:
D C Sharma
Department of Medicine, R.N.T. Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.


This report deals with a young girl with Duane«SQ»s retraction syndrome who also had left facial hemiatrophy (Parry-Romberg syndrome). Report of such an association is probably first of its type to be documented in literature.

How to cite this article:
Sharma D C, Parihar P S, Kumawat D C, Ramakrishnan S, Dave R, Bhatnagar H N, Bhatnagar L K. Duane's retraction syndrome with facial hemiatrophy (a case report). J Postgrad Med 1990;36:51-3

How to cite this URL:
Sharma D C, Parihar P S, Kumawat D C, Ramakrishnan S, Dave R, Bhatnagar H N, Bhatnagar L K. Duane's retraction syndrome with facial hemiatrophy (a case report). J Postgrad Med [serial online] 1990 [cited 2023 Jan 29 ];36:51-3
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  ::   IntroductionTop

Duane's retraction syndrome is a congenital disorder of ocular motility[2],[6],[8],[9],[14]. It is characterised by limitation of abduction, with retraction of the eye into the orbit and consequent narrowing of the palpebral fissure on adduction. Below, we report an uncommon case of this syndrome with an unusual association of left facial hemiatrophy.

  ::   Case reportTop

A nine-year-old girl was brought to our medical outpatient department for the complaints of a squint on looking to the left, since early childhood and gradual thinning of the left side of the face for the last two years. There was no history of diplopia, headache, vomiting and any contributory illness in early childhood or illness in the mother during pregnancy. Her birth, development and education had been normal. All family members were well. She was normotensive and had scoliosis of the thoracic spine with convexity to the left. No other congenital anomaly was detected.

On examination, there was no squint in the primary position. The palpebral apertures were normal and equal on both sides on looking straight while on attempting to carry out abduction of the left eye, there was little movement with widening of the left palpebral aperture but normal movement of the right eye consistent with the left rectus paralysis (see [Figure:1]). On adduction of the left eye, the left palpebral aperture became narrow with retraction on the left eye ball but there was normal movement of the right eye (see [Figure:2]). Convergence was normal; forced duction test revealed limited lateral movement of the left eye with full range of medial movement. Neostigmine injection did not change the range of movement. The optic fundi, visual acuity, field of vision and colour vision were normal.

Her face showed typical features of facial hemiatrophy on the left side. The left forehead was smaller than the right; the left cheek was flattened and subcutaneous fat was less, the nose on the left side was smaller than the right (see [Figure:3]). Skiagram of the thoracic spine revealed scoliosis with convexity to the left. All routine investigations, skiagram of the cervical spine and skull, VDRL on serum and CSF were normal. Thyroid function tests were normal.

  ::   CommentsTop

Absence of adduction of the left eye, and retraction and narrowing of palpebral aperture of the same eye on adduction in the present case are typical of Duane's retraction syndrome[6]. Additionally, she had left facial hemiatrophy. To the best of our knowledge, such an association has not been reported in the literature. One-third of the patients reveals various musculoskeletal defects;[4] this case also revealed scoliosis of the thoracic spine.

Duane's retraction syndrome has been reported in several families and the pattern of inheritance is best explained as irregular dominant[3]. However, isolated cases like ours do occur frequently. The condition is slightly more prominent in females than males and more frequently affects the left side[2],[13], as in our case.

Hoyt and Nachtigaller[11] emphasised that the lateral rectus muscle receives its nerve supply from the occutomotor nerve and that it therefore contracts when other third nerve muscles contract (such as in adduction) to produce retraction of the globe and narrowing of the palpebral aperture. Absence of diplopia as in this case, may be because of regional suppression when they look in the field of affected lateral rectus[11]. Restriction of lateral movement of the left eye on forced duction test with normal medial movement suggests ankylosis of the medial rectus. This finding is consistent with the observations of Gunderson and Zeavin[10], who in all their operated cases found that lateral rectus was normal in size, position and elasticity. Further, they observed that although medial rectus was also normal in size, colour and position, it failed to stretch because of the presence of a dense fibrous band between the muscle belly of the medial rectus and the orbital wall. They[10] disproved the theory put by Turk[15], who explained this phenomenon by assuming that there was an inelastic band replacing the lateral rectus which is responsible for restricted lateral movement. Cappellaro[5] appears to be the first and the only one who has found the medial rectus and check ligaments bound to the medial orbit. Further, they [10] concluded in their series of 27 cases that: (1) the real cause of retraction syndrome is still unknown, (2) the most widely accepted theory of Turk[15] must rarely be applicable, (3) the commonest defect is in the medial rectus, in which inelasticity and adhesions have been found in eight operated cases, and (4) the disease is variable in its manifestation. They[10] also observed that: (a) no adduction beyond midline is commonest, (b) retraction is variable, and (c) convergent strabismus exists in one half of the reported cases[10].

They confirmed (a) its 2:1 incidence in females, (b) its 2:1 laterality to the left, and (c) its hereditary tendency[10].

Zauberman et al[19] demonstrated with EMG studies as well as with surgical exploration, that this syndrome may be associated with supraneuclear deficit, neuclear / lower motor neurone deficit, or lesions of the muscle alone. The latter situation was documented in one case found to have fibrosis of the lateral rectus muscle with intact nerve supply.

Duane's retraction syndrome is known to occur in association with other congenital anomalies like Goldenhar syndrome (oculoauriculovertebra dysplasia)[13],[16], cleft palate[12], cervical spina bifida, facial palsy[17], syringomyelia[7], Klippel-Feil anomaly[17], and perceptive deafness[12].

Facial hemiatrophy of Parry-Romberg syndrome is characterised by progressive wasting of some or all the tissues of one side of face[18]. It is a disorder of uncertain aetiology, though much attempts have been made to classify this disorder as a form of lipodystrophy[1]. There is no proof that facial hemiatrophy is a neuromuscular disorder. Electrophysiological studies of muscles and nerves in the affected side have not shown any consistent abnormalities[3]. Muscle atrophy in this syndrome is postulated to be secondary to disappearance of fat and connective tissues. Therefore, it is difficult to establish a causal relationship between Duane's retraction syndrome and facial hemiatrophy.


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