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J Neurophysiol. 2007 Dec;98(6):3411-22. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Ocular motor behavior in macaques with surgical exotropia.

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  • 1Beckman Vision Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0730, USA.

Abstract

To provide an animal model of human exotropia, a free tenotomy of the medial recti was performed in two infant macaques. When the animals were old enough to record eye movements with video eye trackers, we measured their ductions, ocular alignment, comitance, smooth pursuit, fixation preference, and gaze stability. Partial recovery of adduction occurred in each monkey from spontaneous re-attachment of the medial rectus muscle to the eye. However, each animal was left with a relatively comitant, large angle exotropia. The magnitude of the exotropia was not affected by covering one eye. There was no dissociated vertical deviation or any significant "A" or "V" pattern to the horizontal misalignment. Smooth pursuit was more accurate when tracking nasally compared with temporally in both animals. Compensatory catch-up saccades in the tracking eye were always accompanied by conjugate movements in the deviated eye. Despite tenotomy of the medial recti, the velocity of adducting saccades was normal. Both monkeys alternated fixation, preferring to use the left eye for targets on the left side and the right eye for targets on the right. Each animal was capable of switching fixation while making accurate saccades. One of the monkeys developed a vertical pendular nystagmus, which was most prominent in the deviated eye. Macaques with ocular misalignment from medial rectus tenotomy exhibit features that are present in humans with alternating exotropia. These animals will be valuable for probing the cortical mechanisms that underlie visual suppression in strabismus.

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