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Eileen E. Birch, Sarah E. Morale, Reed M. Jost, Angie De La Cruz, Krista R. Kelly, Yi-Zhong Wang, Peter J. Bex; Assessing Suppression in Amblyopic Children With a Dichoptic Eye Chart. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(13):5649-5654. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-19986.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Suppression has a key role in the etiology of amblyopia, and contrast-balanced binocular treatment can overcome suppression and improve visual acuity. Quantitative assessment of suppression could have a role in managing amblyopia. We describe a novel eye chart to assess suppression in children.
We enrolled 100 children (7–12 years; 63 amblyopic, 25 nonamblyopic with strabismus or anisometropia, 12 controls) in the primary cohort and 22 children (3–6 years; 13 amblyopic, 9 nonamblyopic) in a secondary cohort. Letters were presented on a dichoptic display (5 letters per line). Children wore polarized glasses so that each eye saw a different letter chart. At each position, the identity of the letter and its contrast on each eye's chart differed. Children read 8 lines of letters for each of 3 letter sizes. The contrast balance ratio was the ratio at which 50% of letters seen by the amblyopic eye were reported.
Amblyopic children had significantly higher contrast balance ratios for all letter sizes compared to nonamblyopic children and controls, requiring 4.6 to 5.6 times more contrast in the amblyopic eye compared to the fellow eye (P < 0.0001). Amblyopic eye visual acuity was correlated with contrast balance ratio (r ranged from 0.49–0.57 for the 3 letter sizes). Change in visual acuity with amblyopia treatment was correlated with change in contrast balance ratio (r ranged from 0.43–0.62 for the 3 letter sizes).
Severity of suppression can be monitored as part of a routine clinical exam in the management of amblyopia in children.
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