Isolated Abducens Nerve Palsy: Update on Evaluation and Diagnosis

Christopher Elder, Clotilde Hainline, Steven L. Galetta, Laura J. Balcer, Janet C. Rucker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Abducens nerve palsy is a common clinical finding in neurology practice. In many instances, the origin is obvious and management straightforward; however, the list of possible etiologies and mimics is vast and diverse and diagnostic decisions can be challenging and even controversial. This is especially true when the abducens nerve is affected in isolation, since in the current era of cost-effective medicine, it is critical to accurately diagnose etiologies that may lead to major morbidity or mortality with efficiency. Topics for highlighted updates in this review include management of isolated abducens nerve palsy with a high likelihood of a microvascular ischemic etiology; common imaging pitfalls and current state-of-the-art neuroimaging; and abducens palsy mimics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number69
JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Abducens palsy
  • Diplopia
  • Isolated cranial mononeuropathy
  • Neuroimaging
  • Sixth nerve palsy


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