Diagnosing and quantifying a common deficit in multiple sclerosis: Internuclear ophthalmoplegia

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OBJECTIVE: We present an objective and quantitative approach for diagnosing internuclear ophthalmoplegia (INO) in multiple sclerosis (MS). METHODS: A validated standardized infrared oculography protocol (DEMoNS [Demonstrate Eye Movement Networks with Saccades]) was used for quantifying prosaccades in patients with MS and healthy controls (HCs). The versional dysconjugacy index (VDI) was calculated, which describes the ratio between the abducting and adducting eye. The VDI was determined for peak velocity, peak acceleration, peak velocity divided by amplitude, and area under the curve (AUC) of the saccadic trajectory. We calculated the diagnostic accuracy for the several VDI parameters by a receiver operating characteristic analysis comparing HCs and patients with MS. The National Eye Institute Visual Function Questionnaire-25 was used to investigate vision-related quality of life of MS patients with INO. RESULTS: Two hundred ten patients with MS and 58 HCs were included. The highest diagnostic accuracy was achieved by the VDI AUC of 15° horizontal prosaccades. Based on a combined VDI AUC and peak velocity divided by amplitude detection, the prevalence of an INO in MS calculated to 34%. In the INO group, 35.2% of the patients with MS reported any complaints of double vision, compared to 18.4% in the non-INO group (p = 0.010). MS patients with an INO had a lower overall vision-related quality of life (median 89.9, interquartile range 12.8) compared to patients without an INO (median 91.8, interquartile range 9.3, p = 0.011). CONCLUSIONS: This study provides an accurate quantitative and clinically relevant definition of an INO in MS. This infrared oculography-based INO standard will require prospective validation. The high prevalence of INO in MS provides an anatomically well described and accurately quantifiable model for treatment trials in MS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2299-e2308
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019

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