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Observation
September 26, 2019

Traumatic Vidian Nerve Injury: An Underrecognized Complication in Basisphenoid Fractures

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, National University Health System, Singapore
  • 2Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, National University Health System, Singapore
JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2019;145(11):1077-1078. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2019.2796

The vidian nerve provides parasympathetic innervation to the nose, palate, and lacrimal gland. Injury to the vidian nerve presents as dryness of the eyes and nose, and is an uncommon presentation of basisphenoid fracture. We describe a patient who sustained a traumatic head injury with subsequent dryness of the nose, eyes, and mouth. Computed tomographic (CT) scan of the temporal bone showed comminuted sphenoid fractures. A Schirmer test on the right side was unreliable in view of concomitant corneal lacerations, but had positive results on the left. He was diagnosed with bilateral traumatic vidian nerve (VN) injury and prescribed symptomatic treatment with good relief.

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