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Alessandro Serra, Louis F. Dell’Osso, Jonathan B. Jacobs, Robert A. Burnstine; Combined Gaze-Angle and Vergence Variation in Infantile Nystagmus: Two Therapies That Improve the High-Visual-Acuity Field and Methods to Measure It. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(6):2451-2460. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1320.
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purpose. To investigate the convergence-induced waveform and high-acuity-field improvements resulting from different therapies in two subjects with infantile nystagmus (IN) that was damped by convergence and to report a new finding in one of the subjects.
methods Infrared reflection was used to measure eye movements during fixation of targets at different gaze and convergence angles and the expanded nystagmus acuity function (NAFX) to evaluate the IN waveform’s foveation quality at all fixation points.
results Recordings demonstrated that, at far, both subjects exhibited classic nulls (high NAFX values) with NAFX reduction at gaze angles lateral to the null. S1 was treated with prisms and S2 with surgery. When converged at near or at far with base-out prisms (S1) or after bimedial recession and bilateral tenotomy surgery (S2), NAFX was higher at both the null and lateral gaze angles; the null region was broadened. The longest foveation domain (gaze angles where the NAFX is within 10% of its peak) at near was three times wider than at far for S1 and two times wider after than before surgery for S2. The therapeutic improvement domain (gaze angles where the posttherapy NAFX is higher than pretherapy) was even broader. At fixed gaze angles in the central 20° of gaze, S1’s NAFX variation with vergence exhibited hysteresis, higher during divergence than convergence; S2 exhibited no hysteresis after surgery.
conclusions Damping IN by means of convergence, induced either surgically or with prisms, broadened the range of gaze angles with higher foveation quality, mimicking the null-broadening effects of tenotomy. The discovery of vergence hysteresis may reflect pulley movement and might allow higher acuity, if a near point is transiently fixated just before a far target. The acuity domains provide new and more comprehensive evaluations of both pre- and posttherapy visual function than do primary-position acuity measurements, suggesting that high-visual-acuity fields should be included in clinical measures of visual function in nystagmus.
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