dorsal midbrain syndrome

Parinaud syndrome, also known as the dorsal midbrain syndrome, is a supranuclear vertical gaze disturbance caused by compression of the superior tectal plate.

Clinical presentation

Parinaud syndrome is characterized by a classic triad of findings:

  • upward gaze palsy, often manifesting as diplopia
  • pupillary light-near dissociation (pupils respond to near stimuli, but not light)
  • convergence-retraction nystagmus

Its importance lies in that recognition of Parinaud syndrome localizes pathology to impingement of or origin in the tectal plate, most frequently due to a posterior commissure or pineal region mass (typically solid tumors rather than pineal cysts).

History and etymology

Named after Henry Parinaud, a French ophthalmologist (1844-1905).