To analyze innervated myotendinous cylinders (IMCs) in the extraocular muscles (EOMs) of normal subjects and strabismic patients.
The rectus muscles of 37 subjects were analyzed. Distal myotendinous specimens were obtained from 3 normal subjects, 20 patients with acquired strabismus, 11 with infantile strabismus, and from 3 with congenital nystagmus, and were studied by using light microscopy. Some specimens (6 rectus muscles) were also examined by transmission electron microscopy.
IMCs were found in the distal myotendinous regions of EOMs. The IMCs of patients with acquired strabismus showed no significant morphological alterations. However, significant IMCs alterations were observed at the distal myotendinous junction of patients with congenital strabismus and congenital nystagmus.
This study supports the notion that IMCs in human EOMs function mainly as proprioceptors, along with effector properties, and a disturbance of ocular proprioceptors plays an important role in the pathogenesis of oculomotor disorder. We suggest that a proprioceptive feedback system should be stimulated and calibrated early in life for the development of binocular vision.