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Postoperative Anisocoria in a Patient Undergoing Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
  1. David Stewart, M.D.,
  2. George T. Simpson, M.D. and
  3. Nader D. Nader, M.D., Ph.D.
  1. From the Department of Anesthesiology, Otorhinolaryngology, and Surgery, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.
  1. Reprint requests: Nader D. Nader, M.D., Department of Anesthesiology, VA Medical Center, 3495 Bailey Ave, Buffalo, NY 14215.


Objective Anisocoria after sinus surgery can be related to serious complications such as intraorbital hematoma or increased intracranial pressure secondary to an expanding hematoma.

Case report A 51-year-old man underwent endoscopic surgery of sinuses, and developed anisocoria; likely a result of the local spread of cocaine used to provide local anesthesia and vasoconstriction. The localized effect of this anesthetic agent produced a typical picture of nasociliary ganglion block that subsided in a few hours. In the results, the nasociliary nerve block was noticed on recovery from anesthesia with no other neurologic deficit. Ophthalmologic examination demonstrated a short-lasting anisocoria with loss of accommodation and sensory block over the tip of the nose.

Conclusion The central spread of the local anesthetics should be considered as a differential diagnosis of unexplained anisocoria, especially when it is associated with loss of corneal reflex.

  • endoscopy
  • paranasal sinuses
  • surgery
  • aniscoria
  • local anesthetics.

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