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March 1957

The Position of Rest During Anesthesia and Sleep: Electromyographic Observations

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Ophthalmology of the New York University Post-Graduate Medical School.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1957;57(3):323-326. doi:10.1001/archopht.1957.00930050333001

Considerable interest attaches to the position of the eyes during anesthesia and sleep. Reported observations have been conflicting.1 During anesthesia different degrees of vergence have been noted, both vertical and horizontal, as well as roving motions during the induction. In surgical anesthesia the movements cease, and during the asphyxial stage a convergent depressed position may be assumed. A similar behavior may be noted during sleep.2

It is frequently observed that esotropia disappears during anesthesia, with straight eyes or divergence taking its place. This finding differentiates a purely innervational from an anatomic or mechanical strabismus and may trap the uninitiated into minimizing the necessary surgery.

Electromyography casts light upon the peculiar innervation during anesthesia and sleep. Operative procedures were carried out in a shielded room. The electromyographic technique has been previously reported.3 Electro-oculography also was carried out with use of capacitance-coupled preamplifiers with a time constant of 0.5

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