The oculocardiac reflex: a review

J Am Optom Assoc. 1982 May;53(5):407-13.


The oculocardiac reflex (OCR), which may result from traction or pressure on the globe, orbital contents, or extra ocular muscles, has been associated with cardiac arrests during ocular surgery. The pathways for this reflex have been established and several preventive methods including retrobulbar block and intravenous injection of atropine have been developed. These procedures, combined with recent advances in anesthesia, may have reduced the occurrence of fatal cardiac arrests caused by the elicitation of the reflex during ocular surgery, however, for numerous reasons, the reflex remains of optometric interest.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atropine / pharmacology
  • Atropine / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Heart Arrest / etiology*
  • Heart Arrest / mortality
  • Heart Arrest / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Nerve Block
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Reflex* / drug effects
  • Reflex, Oculocardiac* / drug effects
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / adverse effects


  • Atropine