Common cases in cranial nerve examination
(click on the case or condition for description and question)

In the final examination, you may be asked to perform a full cranial nerve examination to show your fluency in 
such examination. More commonly you may be asked to test one particular cranial nerve after you have elicited 
some ocular signs. For example:
  • Testing the fifth cranial nerve in a patient with seventh nerve palsy (acoustic neuroma) 
  • Testing the area of skin supplied by the infraorbital nerve in a patient with blow-out fracture
  • Testing the hearing in a patient with retinitis pigmentosa in Usher's syndrome. 
  • Testing the sense of smell in a patient with optic atrophy in one eye and papilloedema in the other. 

  • (This is because sphenoidal ridge meningioma can give rise to Foster-Kennedy's Syndrome and 
  • Examination of the lower cranial nerves (IX, X, XI and XII) in sixth nerve palsy looking for neoplastic 

  • infiltration of the basal skull as in nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
Facial nerve palsy is probably the most common cranial nerve case you will encounter. It is important to revise 
this subject well. It is not enough to diagnose it, you need to show your ability to look for the cause, the level 
of the lesion and the risk to the cornea.


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