Ocular flutter associated with a localized lesion in the paramedian pontine reticular formation

Ann Neurol. 2001 Sep;50(3):413-6. doi: 10.1002/ana.1140.


Ocular flutter is a rare horizontal eye movement disorder characterized by rapid saccadic oscillations. It has been hypothesized that it is caused by loss of "pause" neuronal inhibition of "burst" neuron function in the paramedian pontine reticular formation (PPRF); however, there have been no imaging studies confirming such anatomical localization. We report the case of a woman with an acute attack of multiple sclerosis associated both with ocular flutter and a circumscribed pontine lesion, mainly involving the PPRF on magnetic resonance imaging. As she recovered from the attack, both the midline pontine lesion and the ocular flutter dramatically improved. This case is the first clear evidence that at least some cases of ocular flutter are due to lesions involving the PPRF.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Medulla Oblongata / pathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / pathology*
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / pathology*
  • Pons / pathology*
  • Reticular Formation / pathology*