Occurrence of oculomotor dysfunctions in acquired brain injury: a retrospective analysis

Optometry. 2007 Apr;78(4):155-61. doi: 10.1016/j.optm.2006.11.011.


Background: The purpose of this retrospective study was to determine the frequency of occurrence of oculomotor dysfunctions in a sample of ambulatory outpatients who have acquired brain injury (ABI), either traumatic brain injury (TBI) or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), with associated vision symptoms.

Methods: Medical records of 220 individuals with either TBI (n = 160) or CVA (n = 60) were reviewed retrospectively. This was determined by a computer-based query spanning the years 2000 through 2003, for the frequency of occurrence of oculomotor dysfunctions including accommodation, version, vergence, strabismus, and cranial nerve (CN) palsy.

Results: The majority of individuals with either TBI (90%) or CVA (86.7%) manifested an oculomotor dysfunction. Accommodative and vergence deficits were most common in the TBI subgroup, whereas strabismus and CN palsy were most common in the CVA subgroup. The frequency of occurrence of versional deficits was similar in each diagnostic subgroup.

Conclusion: These new findings should alert the clinician to the higher frequency of occurrence of oculomotor dysfunctions in these populations and the associated therapeutic, rehabilitative, and quality-of-life implications.

MeSH terms

  • Accommodation, Ocular / physiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / etiology
  • Ocular Motility Disorders / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United States / epidemiology