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J AAPOS. 2013 Apr;17(2):166-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2012.10.021.

The effect of amblyopia treatment on stereoacuity.

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Division of Optometry & Visual Science, City University, London, UK.



To explore how stereoacuity changes in patients while they are being treated for amblyopia.


The Monitored Occlusion Treatment for Amblyopia Study (MOTAS) comprised 3 distinct phases. In the first phase, baseline, assessments of visual function were made to confirm the initial visual and binocular visual deficit. The second phase, refractive adaptation, now commonly termed "optical treatment," was an 18-week period of spectacle wear with measurements of logMAR visual acuity and stereoacuity with the Frisby test at weeks 0, 6, 12, and 18. In the third phase, occlusion, participants were prescribed 6 hours of patching per day.


A total of 85 children were enrolled (mean age, 5.1 ± 1.5 years). In 21 children amblyopia was associated with anisometropia; in 29, with strabismus; and in 35, with both. At study entry, poor stereoacuity was associated with poor visual acuity (P < 0.001) in the amblyopic eye and greater angle of strabismus (P < 0.001). Of 66 participants, 25 (38%) who received refractive adaptation and 19 (29%) who received occlusion improved by at least one octave in stereoacuity, exceeding test-retest variability. Overall, 38 (45%) improved one or more octaves across both treatment phases. Unmeasureable stereoacuity was observed in 56 participants (66%) at study entry and in 37 (43%) at study exit.


Stereoacuity improved for almost one half of the study participants. Improvement was observed in both treatment phases. Factors associated with poor or nil stereoacuity at study entry and exit were poor visual acuity of the amblyopic eye and large-angle strabismus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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