What is Duane syndrome?
Duane syndrome (DS) is a rare, congenital (present from birth) eye movement disorder. Most patients are diagnosed by the age of 10 years and DS is more common in girls (60 percent of the cases) than boys (40 percent of the cases).
DS is a miswiring of the eye muscles, causing some eye muscles to contract when they shouldn’t and other eye muscles not to contract when they should. People with DS have a limited (and sometimes absent) ability to move the eye outward toward the ear (abduction) and, in most cases, a limited ability to move the eye inward toward the nose (adduction).
Often, when the eye moves toward the nose, the eyeball also pulls into the socket (retraction), the eye opening narrows and, in some cases, the eye will move upward or downward. Many patients with DS develop a face turn to maintain binocular vision and compensate for improper turning of the eyes.
In about 80 percent of cases of DS, only one eye is affected, most often the left. However, in some cases, both eyes are affected, with one eye usually more affected than the other.
Other names for this condition include: Duane’s Retraction Syndrome (or DR syndrome), Eye Retraction Syndrome, Retraction Syndrome, Congenital retraction syndrome and Stilling-Turk-Duane Syndrome.
In 70 percent of DS cases, this is the only disorder the individual has. However, other conditions and syndromes have been found in association with DS. These include malformation of the skeleton, ears, eyes, kidneys and nervous system, as well as:
- Okihiro’s syndrome, an association of DS with forearm malformation and hearing loss,
- Wildervanck syndrome, fusion of neck vertebrae and hearing loss,
- Holt-Oram syndrome, abnormalities of the upper limbs and heart,
- Morning Glory syndrome, abnormalities of the optic disc or “blind spot”, and
- Goldenhar syndrome, malformation of the jaw, cheek and ear, usually on one side of the face.
Learn more about Duane Syndrome
- National Human Genome Research Institute
- eMedicine – Duane Syndrome
- Duane Syndrome Information sheet
- NORD – Duane Syndrome