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August 1933

THE ARGYLL ROBERTSON PUPILAN ANATOMIC-PHYSIOLOGIC EXPLANATION OF THE PHENOMENON, WITH A SURVEY OF ITS OCCURRENCE IN NEUROSYPHILIS

Author Affiliations

BOSTON

From the Department of Diseases of the Nervous System, Harvard Medical School, the Neurological Unit, Boston City Hospital and the Boston Psychopathic Hospital.

Arch NeurPsych. 1933;30(2):357-373. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1933.02240140121006
Abstract

In 1869, Argyll Robertson, in an article1 entitled, "Four Cases of Spinal Myosis, with Remarks on the Action of Light on the Pupils," described a peculiar pupillary phenomenon. At first this phenomenon was believed to have a pathognomonic significance, but more recently it has lost some of its diagnostic importance. This can probably be explained by the following facts: (1) The anatomic and physiologic bases for this unusual pupillary disturbance have been imperfectly understood, and (2) confusion has developed as to the exact definition of the phenomenon. In the last decade there have been some excellent anatomic and physiologic studies on the pathways of the light reflex and also on the pathways for the pupillodilator fibers. These separate studies, when put together, give for the first time an exact anatomic location for a lesion which would explain all the phenomena in the Argyll Robertson pupil.

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