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Orbicularis oculi reflex in the Wallenberg syndrome: alteration of the late reflex by lesions of the spinal tract and nucleus of the trigeminal nerve
  1. Jun Kimura,
  2. Lynn W. Lyon
  1. Department of Medicine (Neurology), University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
  2. The Department of EEG, Winnipeg General Hospital, Winnipeg, Canada
  3. The Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.A.


    The orbicularis oculi reflex was studied in nine cases with lateral medullary lesions. Diagnosis of the Wallenberg syndrome was made clinically in seven cases and at necropsy in another. The clinical features of one other case were closely allied to but not typical of this syndrome. An afferent delay of the late reflex on the side of the lesion in the presence of a normal early reflex was seen in all but two cases. In one of the latter, the late reflex was normal and in the other, a comatose patient, the late reflex was totally absent. It was concluded that the neurones of the first order responsible for the bilateral late reflex on unilateral stimulation terminate in the ipsilateral spinal nucleus of the trigeminal nerve without significant crossing over to the same structure on the other side. An afferent delay of the late reflex in the presence of a normal or nearly normal early reflex is consistent with a lateral medullary lesion implicating the spinal tract and nucleus. The Wallenberg syndrome is a common clinical entity showing this abnormality of the orbicularis oculi reflex.

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