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Horizontal Gaze Paresis Due to Pontine Infarct

Acute infarct in left dorsal pons
Acute infarct in the left dorsal pons

60 year old lady presented with blurring of vision of 6 hours duration. Clinical examination revealed left-sided horizontal gaze paresis. She had no other focal neurological deficits. MRI Brain showed acute infarct (hyperintense signals on DW images, as shown above) in the left side of pons, affecting its dorso-medial part.

Horizontal gaze paresis in pontine infarct occurs due to the involvement of abducens nucleus and para pontine reticular formation (PPRF). Abducens nucleus supplies not only the ipsilateral lateral rectus muscle, but also the contralateral medial rectus muscle. So, in this case, infarct on the left side of pons in the region of abducens nucleus has affected left lateral rectus and right medial rectus causing a gaze paresis to the left side. Her symptoms improved and completely resolved on second day of admission.


Published by Dr Sudhir Kumar MD (Medicine) DM (Neurology)

I am a doctor with 25 years experience. I have worked as a neurologist for about 20 years. Educating public and healthcare professionals is very dear to me. This is possible due to my interactions with thousands of patients and their caregivers. I salute the patients who suffer and it is our duty to minimise suffering by preventing diseases and ensuring prompt diagnosis and treatment of those already affected.

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