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Curr Eye Res. 2019 Jul 11:1-7. doi: 10.1080/02713683.2019.1639767. [Epub ahead of print]

Cortical Alterations by the Abnormal Visual Experience beyond the Critical Period: A Resting-state fMRI Study on Constant Exotropia.

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a Department of Ophthalmology , The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University , Hefei , China.
b Centers for Biomedical Engineering , University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei , China.
c CAS Key Laboratory of Brain Function and Diseases and School of Life Sciences , University of Science and Technology of China , Hefei , People's Republic of China.


Purpose: The pathological mechanisms of constant exotropia (XT) are still not understood. This study aimed to critically investigate whether patients with XT express neuronal activity changes after the critical period of visual development and further explore how these alterations are associated with behavioral performance. Materials and methods: Fourteen patients with XT and 16 healthy controls (HCs) underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The regional homogeneity (ReHo) method was used to evaluate spontaneous brain activities. The association between significantly altered mean ReHo values and behavioral performance was assessed using Pearson's correlation analysis. Results: Compared with HCs, the right secondary visual cortex (V2) in patients with XT exhibited increased ReHo values, whereas the left Brodmann area 47 (BA47) demonstrated decreased spontaneous ReHo values. In patients with XT, the correlation between the left BA47's mean ReHo value and duration of strabismus was positively significant. Conclusions: These findings indicate that patients with XT have severe neural dysfunction in the right V2 and left BA47, and pathological severity in the left BA47 is likely influenced by duration of ongoing strabismus. Therefore, these results may provide clinically important information toward understanding the underlying pathological mechanisms of XT and thus can be fundamental in future XT research.


Constant exotropia (XT); ReHo; concomitant exotropia; fMRI; resting state

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