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Clinical characteristics of microtropia—is microtropia a fixed phenomenon?


BACKGROUND/AIMS Microtropia is believed to be a static condition, in which accepted achievable levels of vision are those of 6/12–6/9 maximum, with the inability to achieve “normal” levels of stereopsis. The aim of this paper was to present the results of treatment of 30 consecutively presenting primary microtropes, and assess their outcomes using a more active treatment strategy than that conventionally used.

METHODS Visual acuity, stereoacuity, fixation, and the presence of a central suppression scotoma were assessed in all patients before, during, and after treatment, which comprised wearing maximum refractive correction, and an occlusion strategy aiming for equal visual acuity.

RESULTS Equal visual acuity of 6/5 Snellen was achieved in 43% of the 30 patients, while 87% achieved 6/9 Snellen or better visual acuity in the microtropic eye. Stereoacuity of better than 60" of arc was attained in 37%, and foveal fixation on visuscopy in 55%. The treatment outcome was not affected by the patient’s age, initial visual acuity, or the amount of anisometropia. A change in the patient’s diagnosis was noted in 50%, with nine patients recovering completely.

CONCLUSIONS The results show that microtropia is not static. Equal 6/5 vision is attainable, as is high grade stereoacuity. The pattern of fixation may change during treatment and elimination of the microtropia is possible in some cases. There is a requirement for management protocols to be changed in order to treat this condition more effectively.

  • microtropia
  • amblyopia
  • eccentric fixation

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