Pediatric Horner syndrome

Amy R. Jeffery, Forrest J. Ellis, Michael X. Repka, J. Raymond Buncic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to define the etiologies of Horner syndrome in the pediatric population. Methods: A retrospective review was performed of the medical records of all pediatric Horner syndrome patients (<18 years old) examined by the pediatric ophthalmology services at two large referral centers. Results: Seventy-three pediatric Horner syndrome patients were identified. Of these, 31 (42%) were congenital, 11 (15%) were acquired without surgical intervention, and 31 (42%) were acquired after a surgical procedure of the thorax, neck, or central nervous system. Of the congenital Horner syndrome patients, a history of delivery with the use of forceps, vacuum extraction, shoulder dystocia, fetal rotation, or postterm delivery was elicited in 16 patients (53%). Concomitant brachial plexus injury was identified in only 3 patients. Two patients had congenital varicella syndrome and 1 patient was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. This patient had a palpable supraclavicular mass and stridor. Diagnosis of the patients with acquired Horner syndrome included neuroblastoma (2), trauma (1), rhabdomyosarcoma (1), brainstem vascular malformation (1), disseminated sclerosis (1), and not determined (5). Conclusion: In children with congenital Horner syndrome, a history of forceful manipulation of the infant during birth may reduce the need for extensive systemic evaluation. Without such history, a decision to proceed with further evaluation is made with consideration of the relative incidence of neuroblastoma by age and the physical findings. All acquired pediatric Horner syndrome patients without a known etiology require thorough evaluation because of the frequent association of serious underlying disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-167
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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