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Pendular nystagmus

Jason JS Barton, MD, PhD, FRCPC
Section Editor
Paul W Brazis, MD
Deputy Editor
Janet L Wilterdink, MD


Pendular nystagmus is a sinusoidal oscillation. The waveform of pendular nystagmus may occur in any direction; it can be torsional, horizontal, vertical, or a combination of these, resulting in circular, oblique, or elliptical trajectories. It may be different in the two eyes, sometimes even monocular. Diagnosis is an exercise in pattern recognition since pendular nystagmus is subdivided into a number of types, some characterized by specific trajectories:

Acquired pendular nystagmus

Pendular nystagmus from visual loss

Specific variants: spasmus nutans; oculopalatal myoclonus; see-saw nystagmus; oculomasticatory myorhythmia (Whipple's)

Congenital nystagmus

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: May 27, 2015.
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