The palpebral fissure is the elliptic space between the medial and lateral canthi of the two open lids. In simple terms, it refers to the opening between the eye lids. In adults, this measures about 10mm vertically and 30mm horizontally.
Front of left eye with eyelids separated to show medial canthus. (Palpebral fissure, visible but not labeled, is artificially widened.)
It can be reduced (short, "narrow") in horizontal size by fetal alcohol syndrome and in Williams syndrome. The chromosomal conditions trisomy 9 and trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) can cause the palpebral fissures to be upslanted, while Marfan syndrome can cause a downslant. An increase in vertical height can be seen in genetic disorders like cri-du-chat.
In animal studies, using four times the therapeutic concentration of the ophthalmic solution Latanoprost, the size of the palpebral fissure can be increased. The condition is reversible. Latanoprost is a prostaglandin F receptor agonist.
- "UNSW Embryo- Abnormal Development - Fetal Alcohol Syndrome". Retrieved 2007-12-23.
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- United States Food and Drug Administration (Nov. 2006). Xalatan (latanoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.005% (50 μg/mL). Accessed 5 Feb 2011.
- Facial Neurological Examination from University of Toronto