The effect of acute superior oblique palsy on torsional optokinetic nystagmus in monkeys

Xiaoyan Shan, Jing Tian, Howard S. Ying, Mark F. Walker, David Guyton, Christian Quaia, Lance M. Optican, Rafael J. Tamargo, David S. Zee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose. To investigate the effects of acquired superior oblique palsy (SOP) and corrective strabismus surgery on torsional optokinetic nystagmus (tOKN) in monkeys. Methods. The trochlear nerve was severed intracranially in two rhesus monkeys (M1 and M2). For each monkey, more than 4 months after the SOP, the ipsilateral inferior oblique muscle was denervated and extirpated. For M2, 4 months later, the contralateral inferior rectus muscle was recessed by 2 mm. tOKN was elicited during monocular viewing of a rotating stimulus that was rear projected onto a screen 43.5 cm in front of the animal. Angular rotation of the stimulus about the center was 40 deg/s clockwise or counterclockwise. Results. The main findings after trochlear nerve sectioning were (1) the amplitude and peak velocity of torsional quick and slow phases of the paretic eye was less than that in the normal eye for both intorsion and extorsion, and (2) the vertical motion of the paretic eye increased during both torsional slow and quick phases. After corrective inferior oblique surgery, both of these effects were even greater. Conclusions. Acquired SOP and corrective inferior oblique- weakening surgery create characteristic patterns of change in tOKN that reflect alterations in the dynamic properties of the extraocular muscles involved in eye torsion. tOKN also provides information complementary to that provided by the traditional Bielschowsky head-tilt test and potentially can help distinguish among different causes of vertical ocular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1421-1428
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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