E-Pearl of the Week: Ocular Bobbing

May 26, 2011


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May 25, 2011

Ocular Bobbing

Ocular bobbing, originally described by C. Miller Fisher, refers to abnormal spontaneous vertical eye movements which are typically seen in comatose states. It is characterized by intermittent, conjugate, fast downward eye movements followed by slow upward return to primary position. It usually localizes to intrinsic pontine pathologies (stroke, tumor) , although it has been described in extra-axial masses, diffuse encephalitis, toxic and metabolic encephalopathies. Reverse ocular bobbing, characterized by fast upward movement followed by slow downward return is a non-localizing sign in coma.


  1. Mehler MF. The clinical spectrum of ocular bobbing and ocular dipping. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1988;51:725-727.

Submitted by:
Partha S Ghosh, MD

Disclosure: Dr. Ghosh reports no disclosures.

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