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Eye movement recordings to investigate a supranuclear component in chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia: a cross-sectional study

Abstract

Background It has been postulated that eye movement disorders in chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia (CPEO) have a neurological as well as a myopathic component to them.

Aim To investigate whether there is a supranuclear component to eye movement disorders in CPEO using eye movement recordings.

Methods Saccade and smooth pursuit (SP) characteristics together with vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain and VOR suppression (VORS) gain in 18 patients with CPEO and 34 normal patients were measured using Eyelink II video-oculography.

Results The asymptotic values of the peak velocity main sequence curves were reduced in the CPEO group compared to those of normal patients, with a mean of 161°/s (95% CI 126°/s to 197°/s) compared with 453°/s (95% CI 430 to 475°/s), respectively. Saccadic latency was longer in CPEO (263 ms; 95% CI 250 to 278), compared to controls (185 ms; 95% CI 181 to 189). Smooth pursuit and VOR gains were impaired in CPEO, although this could be explained by non-supranuclear causes. VORS gain was identical in the two groups.

Conclusions This study does not support a supranuclear component to the ophthalmoplegia of CPEO, although the increased latencies observed may warrant further investigation.

  • Vestibuloocular reflex
  • chronic progressive external ophthalmoplegia
  • supranuclear
  • muscles
  • physiology
  • experimental & laboratory
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