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Isolated abducens nucleus syndrome due to pontine tegmentum infarction

Journal of Neurology & Stroke
M Hamid,Y Benmoh,K Adan,H Alloussi,C Moussavou,Y Adraoui,1A Ajamat,1A Bakkal,N Mouloudi,A Ahizoune,A Satte,A Bourazza1


  1. Introduction: Abnormalities of horizontal gaze could be caused by damage of the abducens nucleus due to ischemic lesion. We report a patient with isolated horizontal gaze palsy as a result of a small ischemic lesion of the pontine tegmentum.
  2. Observation: A 61-year-old man, with medical history of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and high blood pressure, was hospitalized after 12 hours of transient dizziness and diplopia. On examination, he had conjugate eye deviation to the right side with horizontal gaze paralysis toward controlateral side. Vertical eye movements, convergence and pupillary reflex were preserved with no peripheral facial palsy. Brain MRI revealed a small lesion in the left pontine tegmentum. Patient received aspirin with atorvastatin and the gaze palsy has been disappeared three weeks later.
  3. Discussion: Conjugate lateral eye movement paralysis is commonly attributed to lesions of the caudal pons involving the abducens nucleus. horizontal gaze palsy is often associated to an ipsilateral peripheral facial palsy. In our case, the left lateral gaze palsy was isolated. The pontine lesion should be strictly confined the abducens nucleus which is extremely rare. the outcome of eye movement deviation in brainstem lesions is favorable within few weeks.
  4. Conclusion: Our case provides evidence that small pontine lesions can damage the abducens nerve nucleus without causing ipsilateral peripheral facial palsy.


abducens nucleus syndrome, pontine tegmentum infarction, horizontal gaze palsy