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J AAPOS. 2010 Jun;14(3):211-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2010.02.006.

Longitudinal follow-up of hypermetropic children identified during preschool vision screening.

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Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.



Early childhood hypermetropia is an important risk factor for the development of amblyopia and esotropia. Understanding the natural history of these complications aids in management decisions.


A retrospective observational review was undertaken of 149 patients referred from a preschool photoscreening program who were determined to have hypermetropia of >or=+3.75 D spherical equivalent on criterion standard examination and were treated/followed by one group of academic pediatric ophthalmologists. The prevalence and incidence of accommodative esotropia and amblyopia were determined.


At presentation 19% of hypermetropic children had amblyopia, 32% had esotropia, and 13% had both. Follow-up data of 108 patients during a mean of 40 months showed that 20 (24%) of 83 initially nonamblyopic patients developed amblyopia and that 22 (33%) of 67 initially nonstrabismic patients developed accommodative esotropia. Of patients initially managed with observation, 38% (6 of 16) developed amblyopia, and 31% (5 of 16) developed accommodative esotropia as compared with 21% (14 of 67) and 33% (17 of 51), respectively, for those given full or partial refractive correction. For patients without amblyopia or strabismus at presentation, only 20% developed amblyopia and 35% esotropia. Strabismic patients responded well to treatment, with no cases developing partially accommodative strabismus requiring surgery during follow-up.


In this case series we found a high prevalence of amblyopia and strabismus. The results support the importance of early preschool vision screening and spectacle correction of moderate to high hypermetropia (>+3.50 D) to reduce the risk of amblyopia, although more research is needed.

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