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T Ohashi, M Kase, M Yokoi; Quantitative analysis of the oculocardiac reflex by traction on human extraocular muscle.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1986;27(7):1160-1164.
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The oculocardiac reflex was quantitatively studied in 15 patients with strabismus. The reflex was observed in all patients when the medial rectus and inferior oblique muscles were stretched; the medial rectus muscle had a lower threshold than the inferior oblique. Bradycardia was evoked in 7 of the 15 patients when the lateral rectus was tractioned with tensions of 50 g and 600 g. The oculocardiac reflex was a graded phenomenon as a function of tension applied to the extraocular muscles. As tension was increased, bradycardia occurred rapidly and became deep. Systemic administration of atropine prevented completely the bradycardia from occurring. The results suggest that the response of the extraocular muscles to stretch are critically mediated through a polysynaptic path to the heart, resulting in suppression of the heart rate.
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