Eye-tracking and optokinetic nystagmus. Results of quantitative testing in patients with well-defined nervous system lesions

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1977 Jan-Feb;86(1 Pt 1):108-14. doi: 10.1177/000348947708600119.


Eye-tracking and optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) abmormalities in patients with focal lesions of the nervous system are reviewed. Patients with peripheral labyrinthine lesions can have deficits in smooth pursuit and OKN, but they are rapidly compensated after an acute lesion. By contrast, patients with large, cerebellopontine angle tumors have progressive impairment of pursuit and OKN as the tumor enlarges. Abnormalities of saccadic eye movements suggest intrinsic central nervous system (CNS) dysfunction. Saccade accuracy is severely impaired with cerebellar lesions, while brain stem disease frequently results in a slowing of saccade maximum velocity. Smooth pursuit and OKN abnormalities are common with all types of CNS lesions. The pattern of eye-tracking and OKN abnormality can be useful in anatomically localizing nervous system lesions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy
  • Basal Ganglia
  • Brain Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Brain Stem
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Cerebellopontine Angle
  • Cerebellum / pathology
  • Eye Movements*
  • Frontal Lobe
  • Humans
  • Labyrinth Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic*
  • Saccades