Acute abducens nerve palsy in a patient with the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Author(s): Falcone MM, Rong AJ, Salazar H, Redick DW1, Falcone S, et al.


We present a case of an abducens nerve palsy in a previously healthy young man in the setting of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Magnetic resonance imaging obtained 5 weeks after the onset of diplopia demonstrated an atrophic left lateral rectus muscle, which was hyperintense on T2 weighting, consistent with denervation. Although the mechanism of the nerve palsy remains unclear, it is suspected to be related to his viral illness, because the patient had no preexisting vascular risk factors or evidence of other neurologic disease on neuroimaging. Cranial nerve palsies may represent part of the neurologic spectrum of COVID-19.

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