Paresis of lateral gaze alternating with so-called posterior internuclear ophthalmoplegia. A partial paramedian pontine reticular formation-abducens nucleus syndrome

J Neurol. 1985;232(1):38-42. doi: 10.1007/BF00314039.


A patient with multiple myeloma developed gaze paresis to the left with slowed saccades and gaze-paretic nystagmus, which alternated with abduction palsy in the left eye (with preserved oculocephalic deviation) and dissociated adducting nystagmus in the right eye, suggesting so-called posterior internuclear ophthalmoplegia. At autopsy multiple small infarcts were found with partial destruction of the left paramedian pontine reticula formation (PPRF) extending towards the abducens nucleus, which was involved only in its inferior pole. The medial longitudinal fasciculus and other oculomotor structures were spared. It is suggested that slowing of all ipsilateral saccades with gaze-paretic nystagmus corresponded to partial destruction of the PPRF, and that intermitted abduction palsy in the ipsilateral eye with adduction nystagmus in the fellow eye was due to intermittant dysfunction of the abducens nucleus. Involvement of voluntary saccades, pursuit movements and vestibulo-ocular responses may be dissociated in partial lesions of the abducens nucleus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abducens Nerve / pathology
  • Abducens Nerve / physiopathology*
  • Cerebral Infarction / pathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / physiopathology
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Electrooculography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / physiopathology
  • Nystagmus, Physiologic
  • Ophthalmoplegia / pathology
  • Ophthalmoplegia / physiopathology*
  • Pons / pathology
  • Pons / physiopathology*
  • Reticular Formation / pathology
  • Reticular Formation / physiopathology*
  • Saccades