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Horner syndrome

Last updated: February 19, 2021

Summarytoggle arrow icon

Horner syndrome (HS) is a neurological disorder characterized by a symptom triad of miosis (an abnormally small pupil), partial ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid), and facial anhidrosis (absence of sweating). This condition results from lesions that interrupt the ipsilateral sympathetic nervous supply to the head, eye, and neck. Most cases of HS are idiopathic, but conditions such as brainstem stroke, carotid dissection, and neoplasm are occasionally identified as the cause of HS. Because of the wide array of possible causes, diagnosis of the underlying disorder frequently poses a challenge and requires a systematic approach. Once the lesion has been identified, treatment should be tailored to the specific cause.

Overview
Type Anatomical trajectory Typical lesion

Central

Preganglionic

Postganglionic

Remember the symptoms of Horner syndrome by the great HORNs of the PAMpas deer: Ptosis, Anhidrosis, and Miosis.

  1. Miller N, Kanagalingam S. Horner syndrome: clinical perspectives. Eye and Brain. 2015 : p.35. doi: 10.2147/eb.s63633 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  2. Kedar S, Biousse V, Newman NJ. Horner syndrome. In: Post TW, ed. UpToDate. Waltham, MA: UpToDate. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/horner-syndrome?source=search_result&search=horner%20syndrome&selectedTitle=1~77.Last updated: July 14, 2015. Accessed: December 14, 2016.