Palpebral Fissure Length

Definition Distance between the inner and outer canthus of one eye.

Landmarks Measure from the inner to the outer canthus of the right eye. Repeat on the left eye (Fig. 7.44).

Head Eye Position

Instruments A graduated transparent ruler or blunt calipers is most accurate; however, a tape-measure can be used.

Position The head should be held erect (in the resting position) with the eyes open and facing forward.

Alternative The infant or young child can lie supine.

Remarks Charts of palpebral fissure length from birth to age 16 years are presented in Figs. 7.45 and 7.46. A difference in the length of the two

Figure 7.45 Palpebral fissure length, both sexes, at birth. From Mehes (1974) and Merlob et al. (1984), by permission.

Figure 7.45 Palpebral fissure length, both sexes, at birth. From Mehes (1974) and Merlob et al. (1984), by permission.

Palpebral Fissure Length ChartPalpebral Fissure Length Chart

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Age from birth (years)

Figure 7.46 Palpebral fissure length, both sexes, birth to 16 years. From Farkas (1981), Chouke (1929), Laestadius et al. (1969), and Thomas et al. (1987), by permission.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Age from birth (years)

Figure 7.46 Palpebral fissure length, both sexes, birth to 16 years. From Farkas (1981), Chouke (1929), Laestadius et al. (1969), and Thomas et al. (1987), by permission.

palpebral fissures occurs in about 30 percent of individuals, but it is rarely in excess of 1 mm. As a rough guide, the palpebral fissure length is approximately equivalent to the inner canthal distance. Blepharophimosis is a decrease in the width of the palpebral fissures without fusion of the eyelids. Ethnic variation occurs in palpebral fissure length (Fig. 7.47).

Pitfalls In the presence of epicanthal folds, the palpebral fissure length is not easily ascertained.

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