Nuclear and Fascicular Oculomotor Nerve Lesions in Brain-Stem Infarcts: A Clinicomorphological Study

  • W. Grisold
  • K. Jellinger
  • M. Drlicek
  • D. Volc


Lesions of the oculomotor nerve nucleus are rare. Anatomically, the nuclear complex of the third nerve extends rostrocaudally, ventral to the aqueduct in the long axis of the midbrain. Dorsal and rostral to the main oculomotor nuclei is the unpaired autonomic Westphal-Edinger nucleus, and at the caudal level is the caudal central nucleus of the levator palpebrae superioris. The main part of the oculomotor complex consists of two paired columns that are topographically divided into dorsolateral, intermediate, and ventrolateral nuclei. The most medial subnuclei innervate the superior rectus muscle. Each medial subnucleus has fibers extending to the opposite eye, but decussation takes place within the nuclear complex. The decussating fibers for the superior rectus muscle traverse the contralateral subnucleus. However, the lateral oculomotor subnuclei have axons that extend to the ipsilateral eye fibers (dorsal subnucleus: inferior rectus muscle; intermediate subnucleus: inferior oblique muscle) Neurons supporting the medial rectus muscle are distributed in three different subnuclei [9].


Rectus Muscle Oculomotor Nerve Medial Rectus Superior Rectus Oculomotor Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Grisold
    • 1
  • K. Jellinger
    • 1
  • M. Drlicek
    • 1
  • D. Volc
    • 1
  1. 1.Neurologische AbteilungKaiser Franz Josef-Spital, Ludwig Boltzmann-InstitutWienAustria

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