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September 1976

Rapid Eye Movements in Myasthenia Gravis: II. Electro-oculographic Analysis

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Branch, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md (Drs Yee, Cogan, and Zee); the Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Dr Zee); and the departments of neurology and otolaryngology, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine, Los Angeles (Drs Baloh and Honrubia).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1976;94(9):1465-1472. doi:10.1001/archopht.1976.03910040299001

• Voluntary saccades were studied by electro-oculography in ten patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) and in eight patients with other types of ophthalmoplegia. Despite limited range of eye movements, maximum velocities of 20° and 40° saccades in patients with MG were not significantly different from those in normal individuals, whereas maximum velocities in patients with other types of ophthalmoplegia were significantly decreased. In some myasthenic patients, small amplitude saccades were hypermetric and had high velocities, appearing clinically as "quiver" movements characteristic of MG. In MG the preservation of saccades with high initial velocities, even in the presence of severe ophthalmoplegia, suggests that muscle fibers generating rapid movements during saccades (twitch fibers) can be relatively spared when muscle fibers responsible for maintenance of excentric gaze (tonic fibers) are severely affected.

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