JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL
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Randomized Controlled Trial of Patching versus Dichoptic Stimulation Using Virtual Reality for Amblyopia Therapy.

Current Eye Research 2024 Februrary
Purpose: To compare the outcomes of patching to dichoptic stimulation using virtual reality (VR) in moderate and severe amblyopia. Methods: This study was conducted on 86 subjects with unilateral anisometropic and mixed amblyopia. The subjects were randomized to the VR or patching group. The VR group received treatment using the Vivid Vision software (Vivid Vision Inc., San Francisco, USA) with each subject receiving weekly 2 h-sessions for 10 weeks. The patching group was prescribed patching for 10 weeks. Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was measured using a single crowded letter in an ETDRS chart before, after 10 weeks of treatment, and after another 10 weeks of cessation of treatment. Near stereoacuity was measured using the TNO test. Results: Forty-two patients were randomized to the patching group and 44 to the VR group. The median age of the subjects was 12.0 (range 6.0 to 37.0) years. In the VR group, mean amblyopic eye BCVA showed statistically significant improvement by 0.89 line (95% confidence interval {CI}, 0.73 to 1.35 lines; p  < 0.001) after 10 weeks of therapy, and after another 10 weeks of follow-up by 1.32 lines from baseline (95% CI, 1.15 to 1.7 lines; p  < 0.001). Regarding the patching group, mean BCVA showed statistically significant improvement after 10 weeks by 1.38 lines (95% CI, 0.82 to 1.8 lines; p  < 0.001), and after another 10 weeks by 1 line from baseline (95% CI, 0.06-0.147; 0.6 to 1.47 lines; p  < 0.001). There was no significant difference between both groups at any time-point ( p values >0.05). No serious adverse events were noted. Adults and severe amblyopes in the VR group showed more significant VA improvement than their counterparts in the patching group. Conclusions: Amblyopes treated using VR dichoptic treatment demonstrated statistically significant VA improvement after 10 and 20 weeks of follow-up that is comparable to patching.

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