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05.12.2016 | Case Report | Ausgabe 6/2017

International Ophthalmology 6/2017

A case of double depressor palsy followed by pursuit deficit due to sequential infarction in bilateral thalamus and right medial superior temporal area

International Ophthalmology > Ausgabe 6/2017
Su Jin Kim, Myeong In Yeom, Seung Uk Lee
Wichtige Hinweise
This study was presented partly as a poster at the European Association for Vision and Eye Research, EVER 2015 Congress, Nice, France, 7–10th Oct, 2015.



We present a unique case of a patient who suffered two rare events affecting the supranuclear control, first of the vertical and second of the horizontal eye movements. The first event involved bilateral thalamic infarcts that resulted in double depressor palsy. The second event occurred 1 year later and it involved supranuclear control of horizontal eye movements creating pursuit deficit.

Case presentation

A 47-year-old male presented with complaints of diplopia upon awakening. He had atrial fibrillation, mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve regurgitation, and a history of spleen infarction 1 year ago. His right eye was hypertrophic and right eye downgaze was limited unilaterally of equal degree in adduction and abduction. The patient was diagnosed with double depressor palsy of the right eye. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain showed an old infarction of the left thalamus, and diffusion MRI showed acute infarction of the right thalamus. The patient’s daily warfarin dose was 2 mg and it was increased to 5 mg with cilostazol 75 mg twice a day. Seven weeks later, the patient’s ocular movement revealed near normal muscle action, and subjectively, the patient was diplopia free. At follow-up 12 months later, the patient revisited the hospital because of sudden onset of blurred vision on right gaze. He was observed to have smooth pursuit deficit to the right side, and orthophoric position of the eyes in primary gaze. MRI of the brain showed an acute infarction in the right medial superior temporal area.


The patient experienced very rare abnormal eyeball movements twice. This case highlights the importance of evaluating vertical movement of the eyes and vascular supplies when patients present with depressor deficit and supports the theory of a supranuclear function in patients who present with pursuit deficit.

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