Outcomes of strabismus surgery in genetically confirmed congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles

Date Published:

2019 Sep 18


PURPOSE: To detail surgical strategy and strabismus outcomes in a genetically defined cohort of patients with congenital fibrosis of the extraocular muscles (CFEOM). METHODS: A total of 13 patients with genetically confirmed CFEOM (via genetic testing for mutations in KIF21A, PHOX2A, and TUBB3) were retrospectively identified after undergoing strabismus surgery at Boston Children's Hospital and surgical outcomes were compared. RESULTS: Age at first surgery ranged from 11 months to 63 years, with an average of 3 strabismus procedures per patient. Ten patients had CFEOM1, of whom 9 had the KIF21A R954W amino acid (AA) substitution and 1 had the M947T AA substitution. Of the 3 with CFEOM3, 2 had the TUBB3 E410K AA substitution, and 1 had a previously unreported E410V AA substitution. CFEOM1 patients all underwent at least 1 procedure to address chin-up posture. Chin-up posture improved from 24° ± 8° before surgery to 10.0° ± 8° postoperatively (P < 0.001). Three CFEOM1 patients developed exotropia after vertical muscle surgery alone; all had the R954W AA substitution. Postoperatively, 1 CFEOM1 patient developed a corneal ulcer. All CFEOM3 patients appeared to have underlying exposure keratopathy, successfully treated with prosthetic replacement of the ocular surface ecosystem (PROSE) lens in 2 patients. CONCLUSIONS: CFEOM is a complex strabismus disorder for which surgical management is difficult. Despite an aggressive surgical approach, multiple procedures may be necessary to achieve a desirable surgical effect. Knowledge of the underlying genetic diagnosis may help to inform surgical management.

Last updated on 10/01/2019