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Sixth Nerve Palsy

In this video, we see the eye movements of patients with a left sixth cranial nerve palsy, and a bilateral sixth nerve palsy.

The Abducens nerve innovates the Lateral Rectus Extraocular muscle. This abducts the eye (moves out).

If the sixth cranial nerve is damaged, it would result in a sixth nerve palsy.

The eye would sit inwards as it cannot abduct so may present as an esotropia.

Some causes of a 6th Nerve Palsy:

  • Microvascular
  • High intracranial pressure
  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Inflammation or infection
  • Brain tumour.

‘See also’ below the eye movement recordings made by an Orthoptist of a right sixth nerve palsy, and photos of a bilateral sixth nerve palsy in five positions of gaze.

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Orthoptics: How to be a Brilliant Allied Health Professional

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