Article Text


Fixation stability of the upward gaze in patients with myasthenia gravis: an eye-tracker study


Objective To quantify fixation stability of the upward gaze in patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) using an eye tracker.

Methods and analysis In this study, 21 normal subjects, 5 patients with MG with diplopia, 5 patients with MG without diplopia and 6 patients with superior oblique (SO) palsy were included. Subjects fixated on a target in the upward direction for 1 min. The horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) eye positions were recorded using an eye tracker. Fixation stability was first quantified using the bivariate contour ellipse areas (BCEA) of fixation points as an index of whole stability. Then, the SDs of the X and Y eye positions (SDX and SDY, respectively) were quantified as indices of directional stability, with the data divided into three 20 s fractions to detect temporal fixation fluctuation.

Results BCEAs were larger in patients with MG (both with and without diplopia) than normal subjects and patients with SO palsy, without significant differences among the three 20 s fractions. Compared with normal subjects, SDXs were larger only in patients with MG with diplopia; SDYs were larger in both patients with MG with and without diplopia. In addition, SDYs in patients with MG with diplopia were larger than those in patients with MG without diplopia and patients with SO palsy. Furthermore, a significant difference among the three 20 s fractions was detected for SDYs in patients with MG with diplopia.

Conclusion Patients with MG, especially those with diplopia, exhibit fixation instability in the upward gaze. Non-invasive quantification of fixation stability with an eye tracker is useful for precisely identifying MG-specific fatigue characteristics.

Trial registration number UMIN000023468; pre-results.

  • diagnostic tests/investigation
  • muscles
  • physiology

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.