Acquired nonaccommodative esotropia in childhood

B G Mohney
Journal of AAPOS: the Official Publication of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus 2001, 5 (2): 85-9

PURPOSE: Acquired nonaccommodative esotropia (ANAET) in childhood is reported to occur infrequently and is often associated with an underlying neurologic or neoplastic disorder. The primary objective of this study was to ascertain the prevalence and clinical characteristics of this form of childhood esotropia.

METHODS: A cohort of all children younger than 11 years with esotropia from a predominantly rural Appalachian region was prospectively identified from August 1, 1995, through July 31, 1998. The age at onset, family history of strabismus, perinatal and medical history, ophthalmologic findings, and surgical results were reviewed for all patients with ANAET.

RESULTS: Twenty-three (10.4%) of 221 consecutive children with esotropia were diagnosed with ANAET compared with 12 (5.4%) diagnosed with congenital esotropia. The median age at esotropia onset for the 23 children with ANAET was 31.4 months (range, 8-63 months) with a mean initial angle of esotropia of 24 PD. Although at least 2 children presented with diplopia, none of the 23 patients were known to have harbored intracranial tumors or other lesions of the central nervous system during the follow-up period. Fourteen of the 19 patients who underwent surgery attended follow-up visits for at least 6 months after their last surgical procedure: 13 were within 8 PD or less of orthotropia, whereas the final patient had persistent esotropia. Twelve of the 13 patients within 8 PD of orthotropia demonstrated some level of stereopsis, including 2 children with bifoveal fixation. Two (10.5 %) of the 19 operated patients later required a low hyperopic spectacle correction to control their deviation.

CONCLUSIONS: ANAET was more prevalent than congenital esotropia in this cohort of children with esotropia. This clinically distinct form of strabismus typically begins between 1 and 5 years of age and appears to be infrequently associated with underlying disease. The angle of deviation is relatively small and early surgical correction is more likely to achieve bifoveal fixation for these patients than for those with congenital esotropia.

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