To review the management of the ptosis associated with oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) from one author’s experience over 34 years, demonstrate Mueller’s muscle involvement in this disease, and how this impacts the preferred choice of surgery.
Retrospective, nonrandomized comparative case series. Forty patients with OPMD who underwent primary bilateral ptosis surgery through an anterior eyelid incision and had their Mueller’s muscle biopsied (one side) and sent for histopathologic analysis were selected for chart review. The main outcome measure was the presence or absence of dystrophic changes in the biopsied Mueller’s muscle.
In 29/40 biopsies (72.5%), there were dystrophic changes and fatty infiltration of Mueller’s muscle identified histopathologically.
Mueller’s muscle is involved in the dystrophic process more often than expected contributing to ptosis in the OPMD syndrome. A combined Mueller’s-aponeurotic advancement is more effective at elevating the eyelid than simply advancing the aponeurosis when Mueller’s is fatty infiltrated at the time of external levator advancement surgery in our experience. Management strategies for ptosis surgery in OPMD are reviewed. The age of onset, levator muscle function, previous ptosis repair, how debilitated the patient is with their disease process systemically, as well as the presence of other eye problems (e.g., dry eye, prior glaucoma filtering procedures, history of corneal surgery, laser refractive procedure) are important clinical considerations in patients with OPMD.

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