Background/aims: To evaluate a new autorefractor, the Plusoptix Vision Screener (PVS), as a screening tool to detect risk factors for amblyopia by comparing it with gold-standard orthoptic vision screening in children.
Methods: Community-based screening study including 288 children age 4–7 years who were screened with the PVS and by orthoptic assessment (distance acuity, cover test, extraocular movements, 20 PD prism test, Lang stereotest). Follow-up comprehensive eye examination of screening-positive children included manual cycloplegic retinoscopy.
Results: Testability was high for both methods. Orthoptic screening identified 36 children with reduced vision and/or factors associated with amblyopia (referral rate 12.5%). The PVS identified 16 children with potential vision problems (referral rate 5.6%), indicating only moderate sensitivity (44%; 95% CI 27.9 to 61.9%), but high specificity (100%; 95% CI 98.5 to 100%) to detect factors associated with amblyopia. The PVS underestimated visually significant refractive errors.
Conclusions: Use of the PVS as single screening test in young children may miss a significant number of children with amblyopia or amblyogenic risk factors.
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