Evaluation and significance of the pupillary light reflex in trauma patients

Scott Meyer, Tyler Gibb, Gregory Jurkovich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The pupillary light reflex is an important component of the neurologic examination of the trauma victim. Although the normal reflex can be predictably altered by specific head injuries, a variety of other factors common to trauma patients such as alcohol, illicit drugs, narcotics, paralyzing agents, hypothermia, and orbital or ophthalmic injury can confound the evaluation of the pupillary light reflex. This report reviews the anatomy and neuro-physiology of the pupillary light reflex and discusses the impact these confounding variables may have on this key component of the initial trauma evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAnnals of Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • neurotrauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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