Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.


Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Print friendly version

Tolosa Hunt syndrome

Other Names for this Disease
  • Nonspecific inflammation of the cavernous sinus or superior orbital fissure
  • Painful ophthalmoplegia
  • THS
  • Tolosa-Hunt syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.


Tolosa Hunt syndrome (THS) is a rare condition characterized by painful ophthalmoplegia (paralysis and/or weakness of the eye muscles). Onset can occur at any age.[1] Signs and symptoms include a constant pain behind the eye; decreased eye movements; and signs of cranial nerve paralysis such as drooping of the upper eyelid (ptosis), double vision (diplopia), large pupil, and facial numbness.[1][2] Although it is considered a benign condition, permanent neurologic deficits can occur and relapses are common. The features of THS are caused by inflammation of the cavernous sinus (an area at the base of the brain) but the underlying cause of the inflammation is unknown. Left untreated, symptoms may resolve spontaneously after an average of about eight weeks. Treatment may include use of glucocorticoids or other immunosuppressive therapies.[1]
Last updated: 3/25/2013


  1. Kenneth S Shindler. Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. UpToDate. Waltham, MA:; February 2013;
  2. Tolosa Hunt Syndrome. NORD. March 30, 2012; Accessed 3/25/2013.
Your Questions Answered
by the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center

1 question(s) from the public on Tolosa Hunt syndrome have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Tolosa Hunt syndrome. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles