Unilateral midbrain infarction causing upward and downward gaze palsy

Alemdar M., Kamaci S., Budak F.

JOURNAL OF NEURO-OPHTHALMOLOGY, no.3, pp.173-176, 2006 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


We report on a 47-year-old woman who developed sudden complete loss of vertical saccades, smooth pursuit, and vestibular eye movements bilaterally. MRI revealed a unilateral midbrain infarct involving the rostral interstitial nucleus of the medial longitudinal fasciculus (riMLF) and the interstitial nucleus of Cajal (INC) and spared the posterior commissure (PC). The lesion is presumed to have interrupted the pathways involved in vertical gaze just before they decussate, inducing an anatomically unilateral but functionally bilateral lesion. Previous reports of bidirectional vertical gaze palsy have shown lesions involving the PC or both riMLFs. This case is the first to show that a unilateral lesion of the riMLF and the INC that spares the PC may cause complete bidirectional vertical gaze palsy.