Retraction syndrome special form of abducent nerve palsy

Causes: Retraction syndrome is a congenital unilateral motility disturbance resulting from a lesion to the abducent nerve acquired during pregnancy.

Effects: The lateral rectus is no longer supplied by the abducent nerve but by fibers from the oculomotor nerve that belong the medial rectus. This has several consequences. As in abducent nerve palsy, abduction is limited and slight esotropia is usually present. In contrast to abducent nerve palsy, the globe recedes into the orbital cavity when adduction is attempted. This narrows the palpebral fissure. This retraction of the globe in attempted adduction results from the simultaneous outward and inward pull of two antagonists on the globe because they are supplied by the same nerve (oculomotor nerve).

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