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Strabismus. 1999 Mar;7(1):1-24.

Assessment of visual acuity in children aged 1 1/2-6 years, with normal and subnormal vision.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.


The aim of the study was to assess different visual acuity tests in the age group 1 1/2-6 years in 105 children with assumed normal vision, visual impairment due to ocular disease or strabismus. Acuity tasks for young children can be divided into three subtypes according to the kind of stimulus used. For "detection acuity", the stimulus should be detected or distinguished from the background, as assessed with the Stycar Rolling Balls. For "resolution acuity", the stimulus pattern should be resolved, as assessed with the Preferential Looking procedure (Teller Acuity Cards). For "recognition acuity", the stimulus must be recognized by the subject as assessed with the BUST-D symbol test, Sheridan Gardiner (S-G) single letters, LH single symbols and line tests, and also the HVOT test. Different acuity values were obtained with regard to detection, resolution and recognition acuities. Assessment with the Stycar Rolling Balls only gave a rough estimate of the visual function. There was an overestimation of the acuity values in all groups of children when using the Preferential Looking technique. Good agreement was found between the LH line and HVOT tests. The BUST-D test, S-G single letters, and LH single symbols gave slightly better acuity values than linear recognition tests. A "crowding ratio" was calculated by dividing the single optotype acuity by the linear acuity, and also by dividing the grating acuity by the optotype linear and single acuity. The crowding ratio varied in the individual children and in the different groups, being highest for strabismic amblyopia. The general conclusion is that reliable visual acuity measurements were not obtained until the visual acuity could be assessed with a recognition test using linear letters or symbols.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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