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Fluctuating oculomotor hyperfunction and hypofunction caused by aneurysmal compression of the third cranial nerve
  1. Oxford Eye Hospital, Radcliffe Infirmary, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HE
  1. Miss Dayan

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Editor,—Aneurysms of the posterior communicating artery classically present with a painful progressive palsy of the third cranial nerve producing ptosis, ophthalmoparesis, and mydriasis. We present a case in which aneurysmal compression of the third nerve produced a variable ptosis and ophthalmoparesis without pupillary involvement in association with intermittent hyperfunction of the ipsilateral third nerve innervated muscles.


A 73 year old woman with a history of hypertension and ischaemic heart disease was referred to the eye department with a 3 week history of intermittent diplopia which she described as inconsistently horizontal, vertical, or oblique, and a 2 week history of right retro-orbital pain and difficulty in opening her right eye. The diplopia and ptosis were often worse in the mornings.

On examination the corrected visual acuities were right 6/6 and left 6/9. There was a very variable and apparently fatiguable right ptosis which was occasionally replaced by right upper …

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