Results of early alignment of congenital esotropia

Eugene M. Helveston, Daniel F. Neely, D. Brian Stidham, David K. Wallace, David A. Plager, Derek T. Sprunger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the long-term motor and sensory results after early surgical correction of patients with congenital esotropia. Design: Noncomparative interventional case series. Participants: Ten infants with congenital esotropia. Intervention: Patients had bimedial rectus recession between 83 and 159 days of age; were re-examined in a regular follow-up program; and were retreated when required for strabismus, amblyopia, and refractive errors. Main Outcome Measures: Final alignment, stereo acuity, variations in vision, alignment, refraction, and number and types of retreatments required during the period of observation. Results: All patients were aligned initially with bimedial rectus recession of 8.0 to 10.0 mm measured from the limbus. A total of 11 additional surgical procedures were performed on 7 patients to maintain alignment. Four patients required hyperopic spectacle correction to maintain alignment, and two patients required short periods of patching. Visual acuity was 20/40 or better in 19 eyes at the most recent examination, which was between 8.3 and 11.8 years after initial surgery. All patients had final alignment to within 10 prism diopters (PD) of orthotropia at either distance or near. Nine of ten patients had dissociated vertical deviation (DVD), and four of ten patients had latent nystagmus. Four patients had measurable stereo acuity at their last visit, with two achieving a stereo acuity of 3000 seconds (the Titmus fly), one 400 seconds, and one 140 seconds. Conclusion: Surgical alignment of congenital esotropia can be achieved in the 4-month-old with bimedial rectus recession, but this does not ensure continued alignment. At least one additional surgical procedure is required on average to maintain alignment in the first 10 years after initial successful surgery. These patients can also be expected to have one or more of the following: DVD, latent nystagmus, refractive component, or latent strabismus. Regardless of outcome, patients with congenital esotropia have optokinetic asymmetry. Attainment of stereo acuity, including high-grade stereo acuity, may be enhanced by attainment of orthotropia or small-angle esotropia but is likely to be ultimately dependent on constitutional factors rather than age of alignment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1716-1726
Number of pages11
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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