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Stability of visual acuity in amblyopic patients after visual maturity.

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Department of Ophthalmology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City 52242.


One hundred thirty patients with strabismic amblyopia who underwent full-time occlusion therapy (FTO) and were followed through to at least 9 years of age were evaluated to determine the stability of visual acuity after visual maturity (after 9 years of age). Of these 130 patients, 89 are included in this review. At the conclusion of the FTO therapy, 92% (82/89) had attained a visual acuity of 20/40 or better, 6% (5/89) had attained 20/50-20/100, and 2% (2/89) remained at 20/200 or less. Of the nine patients in this series in whom patching was initiated between the ages of 6 and 9 years of age, a good visual result was seen in 89% (8/9), with 63% (5/8) of those attaining 20/20 vision. The final visual acuity in this group of patients was taken at an average patient age of 15.9 years. In 75% of the patients (67/89) there was no change in visual acuity over time, while 17% (15/89) showed a one- or two-line decrease, and in 8% (7/89) vision dropped more than two lines. Of those patients who had greater than or equal to 20/40, 88% (56/64) who had a posttreatment visual acuity of 20/20 showed no change at the final evaluation, but only 50% (9/18) of those whose posttreatment vision was between 20/25 and 20/40 were stable. In those patients who needed part-time occlusion (PTO) to maintain equal visual acuity, their stability appeared to be the same as the vision of those whose vision was maintained without PTO.

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