PURPOSE: To demonstrate that currently available magnetic resonance imaging techniques may verify the absence of the abducens nerve in Duane syndrome. METHODS: We performed magnetic resonance imaging in a 36-year-old woman with left Duane syndrome, type 1, using spoiled gradient recalled acquisition in the steady state to obtain high-resolution T1-weighted images through the abducens nerve in its subarachnoid segment. Scans were obtained in the axial plane from the medulla to the midbrain and then reformatted along the plane of the abducens nerve. RESULT: Unilateral absence of the left abducens nerve was verified using magnetic resonance imaging. CONCLUSION: The absence of the abducens nerve in Duane syndrome can be verified by modern magnetic resonance imaging techniques.
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