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Third cranial nerve palsy due to COVID-19 infection


We report a case of a previously healthy man in his 40s who presented with mild SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) concomitant with acute onset of left third cranial nerve palsy with restricted supraduction, adduction and infraduction. Our patient did not present any history of hypertension, hyperlipidaemia, diabetes mellitus or smoking. The patient recovered spontaneously without any antiviral treatment. To our knowledge, this is the second report of third cranial nerve palsy spontaneously resolved without any risk factors of vascular disease, specific image findings, nor any possible causes other than COVID-19. In addition, we reviewed 10 other cases of third cranial nerve palsy associated with COVID-19, which suggested that the aetiology varies greatly. As a clinician, it is important to recognise COVID-19 as a differential diagnosis for third cranial nerve palsy. Finally, we aimed to encapsulate the aetiologies and the prognosis of the third cranial nerve palsy associated with COVID-19.

  • Visual pathway
  • COVID-19
  • Global Health
  • Infectious diseases
  • Cranial nerves

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