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Tonic Pupil 

Tonic Pupil
Tonic Pupil

Matthew J. Thurtell

, and Robert L. Tomsak

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date: 24 February 2021

A tonic pupil is caused by a lesion affecting the postganglionic parasympathetic innervation of the pupil. It can be an incidental finding on examination or associated with visual symptoms, such as photophobia. In this chapter, we begin by briefly reviewing the differential diagnosis of photophobia. We next review the characteristic features of tonic pupil, which include poor pupil reaction to light, segmental palsy of the iris sphincter muscle, accommodation palsy, and tonic pupil reaction to near. We then review the causes of tonic pupil, which include viral infections, trauma, orbital surgery, or neurologic diseases, such as Miller Fisher syndrome. We then go on to discuss the clinical features, diagnostic evaluation, and prognosis of idiopathic tonic pupil, which is also known as an Adie pupil. Lastly, we briefly discuss the management options for tonic pupil, which include use of sunglasses and dilute pilocarpine eye drops.

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