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Horner Syndrome Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Horner Syndrome?

Horner syndrome, a rare condition, is a combination of signs and symptoms caused by the disruption of a nerve pathway from the brain to the face and eye on one side of the body.

It is also known as Horner-Bernard syndrome or oculosympathetic palsy.

Causes Of Horner Syndrome:

Horner syndrome is caused by damage to a certain pathway in the sympathetic nervous system, a system that regulates heart rate, pupil size, perspiration, blood pressure and other functions.

This damage may either be congenital or due to some disease.

Causes can be divided according to the presence and location of anhidrosis:

  • Central (anhidrosis = face, arm and trunk)
    1. Syringomyelia
    2. Multiple sclerosis
    3. Encephalitis
    4. Brain tumors
    5. Lateral medullary syndrome
  • Preganglionic (anhidrosis = face)
    1. Cervical rib traction on stellate ganglion
    2. Thyroid carcinoma
    3. Thyroidectomy
    4. Goiter
    5. Bronchogenic carcinoma of the superior fissure on apex of lung
    6. Klumpke paralysis
    7. Trauma
    8. As a complication of tube thoracostomy
    9. Thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • Postganglionic (no anhidrosis)
  1. Cluster headache
  2. Migraine attack
  3. Carotid artery dissection
  4. Cavernous sinus thrombosis
  5. Middle ear infection
  • Sympathectomy
  • Nerve blocks, such as:
  • cervical plexus block,
  • stellate ganglion
  • interscalene block

Symptoms Of Horner Syndrome:

The following signs and symptoms are exhibited:

  • partial ptosis
  • upside-down ptosis (slight elevation of the lower lid)
  • anhidrosis
  • miosis
  • pseudoenophthalmos (the impression that the eye is sunk caused by a narrow palpebral aperture)
  • pupillary dilation lag
  • loss of ciliospinal reflex
  • Bloodshot conjunctiva, depending on the site of lesion.
  • unilateral straight hair (in congenital Horner’s syndrome)
  • heterochromia iridum (in congenital Horner’s syndrome)

Diagnosis Of Horner Syndrome:

The following tests and exams help in diagnosing Horner syndrome:

  • Eye exam, showing:
  • Changes in how the pupil opens or closes
  • Eyelid drooping
  • Red eye
  • Blood tests
  • Blood vessel tests (cerebral angiogram, CT angiogram, or MR angiogram
  • Chest X-ray or CT exam
  • MRI or CT scan of the brain
  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture)

Treatment Of Horner Syndrome:

There is no specific treatment for Horner syndrome. It is known to disappear when the underlying cause is treated.

By : Natural Health News

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