What is superior orbital fissure syndrome?

Superior orbital fissure syndrome

Superior orbital fissure syndrome, also known as Rochon-Duvigneaud's syndrome, is a neurological disorder that results from the superior orbital fissure fracture with the involvement of the cranial nerves that pass through the superior orbital fissure.

Clinical features: 

It may lead to

  • Diplopia
  • Paralysis of extra-ocular muscles
  • Exophthalmos and
  • Ptosis

If loss of vision is associated with the above features, then it is called orbital apex syndrome. Means, Orbital apex syndrome= superior orbital fissure syndrome + vision loss (optic nerve involvement)

The superior orbital fissure is the gap that connects the cranial cavity with the orbit, bounded,
  • Above by the greater wings of the sphenoid
  • Below by the lesser wings of the sphenoid
  • Medially by the body of the sphenoid and
  • Laterally by the frontal bone

 [Image source: atlas of human anatomy 6ed-17]

The Structures passing through the superior orbital fissures are:

  • Oculomotor nerve
  • Trochlear nerve
  • Abducens nerves
  • Lacrimal, frontal, and nasociliary branches of the ophthalmic nerve, and
  • The superior ophthalmic veins

[Source: Gray's anatomy- 40th Edition; page: 529, 656]

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