Pediatric Ophthalmology

Pediatric Ophthalmology Publications

Bronstad MP, Peli E, Liu R, Doherty A, Fulton AB. High prevalence of strabismic visual field expansion in pediatric homonymous hemianopia. PLoS One 2018;13(12):e0209213.Abstract
If homonymous hemianopia develops in childhood it is frequently accompanied by strabismus. In some of these cases the strabismus increases the size of the binocular visual field. We determined how prevalent visual-field-expanding strabismus is in children who have homonymous hemianopia. Medical records were examined from 103 hemianopic patients with exotropia (XT) or esotropia (ET). For each participant, we determined whether their strabismus was in a direction that resulted in visual field expansion (i.e. left exotropia with left homonymous hemianopia). Ages at which hemianopia and strabismus were first noted were compared to determine which developed first. The prevalence of XT (24%) and ET (9%) with homonymous hemianopia were both much higher than in the general population (1.5% and 5%, respectively). More strabismic eyes pointed to the blind than seeing side (62 vs 41, 60% vs. 40%, p = 0.02). Exotropic eyes were five times more likely to point to the blind side than esotropic eyes (85% vs 15%). Strabismus, especially exotropia, is much more common in pediatric homonymous hemianopia than in the general population. The strabismus is significantly more often in a visual field-expanding direction. These results support an adaptive role for the strabismus. Patients with HH and exotropia or esotropia should be aware that their visual field could be reduced by strabismus surgery.
Raghuram A, Hunter DG, Gowrisankaran S, Waber DP. Self-Reported Visual Symptoms in Children with Developmental Dyslexia. Vision Res 2018;Abstract
Although there are many anecdotal reports of children with developmental dyslexia complaining of vision symptoms when reading, empirical studies are lacking. The primary aim of the present study was to document self-reported vision-related symptoms in children with developmental dyslexia and typically reading peers. We also explored whether vision symptoms were correlated with sensorimotor measures of vergence, accommodation and ocular motor tracking skills. Using a prospective group comparison observational design, we assessed 28 children with developmental dyslexia (DD) and 33 typically reading children (TR) 7- 11 years of age. Participants completed psychoeducational testing, a comprehensive sensorimotor eye examination, and the Convergence Insufficiency Symptom Survey (CISS), which includes 9 items pertaining to vision-related symptoms (CISS-V) and 6 that could have cognitive influence (CISS-C). CISS-V were significantly greater in DD than TR children . Ocular motor tracking, assessed by an infra-red limbal eye tracker while reading text, was most clearly associated with the visual symptoms, but only within the DD group. Vision-related symptom surveys followed by a comprehensive eye examination with detailed evaluation of sensorimotor functioning for those who report a high prevalence of symptoms may be clinically relevant for children with DD.
Hård A-L, Nilsson AK, Lund A-M, Hansen-Pupp I, Smith LEH, Hellström A. Review shows that donor milk does not promote the growth and development of preterm infants as well as maternal milk. Acta Paediatr 2018;Abstract
AIM: This non-systematic review examined differences in the composition of raw maternal breast milk and pasteurised donor milk and possible health effects on preterm infants. METHODS: We searched PubMed up to July 2018 for studies published in English that focused on four comparisons: raw maternal milk versus donor milk, human milk before and after Holder pasteurisation, milk from mothers who delivered preterm and at term and milk collected during early and late lactation. We also searched for possible effects of the milk components, as well as the effects of maternal and donor milk on preterm infants' health. RESULTS: Raw maternal milk contained factors involved in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defence, gut microbiome establishment and the maturation of immune defences, food tolerability and metabolism. Many of these factors were reduced or abolished in processed donor milk. Both maternal milk and donor milk have been associated with a reduced incidence of necrotising enterocolitis. High-dose feeding with maternal milk during the neonatal period reportedly reduced the risk of other morbidities and promoted growth and neurodevelopment. CONCLUSION: Many of the components in raw maternal breast milk were lacking in pasteurised donor milk, which was inferior in promoting the growth and development of very preterm infants. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Smith LEH, Hellström A, Stahl A, Fielder A, Chambers W, Moseley J, Toth C, Wallace D, Darlow BA, Aranda JV, Hallberg B, Davis JM, of of the Consortium RPWIN. Development of a Retinopathy of Prematurity Activity Scale and Clinical Outcome Measures for Use in Clinical Trials. JAMA Ophthalmol 2018;Abstract
Importance: To facilitate drug and device development for neonates, the International Neonatal Consortium brings together key stakeholders, including pharmaceutical companies, practitioners, regulators, funding agencies, scientists, and families, to address the need for objective, standardized clinical trial outcome measurements to fulfill regulatory requirements. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disease that affects preterm neonates. The current International Classification of Retinopathy of Prematurity does not take into account all of the characteristics of ROP and does not adequately discriminate small changes in disease after treatment. These factors are critical for evaluating outcomes in clinical trials. Observations: There is need for an updated ROP acute disease activity and structure scale as well as end-stage structure and ophthalmologic outcome measures designed for use at different ages. The scale and measures, based on current diagnostic methods and treatments, could be used as a guideline for clinical intervention trials. The scale is intended to be validated against retrospective data and revised for use in future trials. An iterative revision process can be accomplished if new measures are added to clinical trials and evaluated at the end of each trial for prognostic value. The new measures would then be incorporated into a new version of the activity scale and the outcome measures revised. Conclusions and Relevance: An ROP activity scale and outcome measures to obtain the most robust and discriminatory data for clinical trials are needed. The scales should be dynamic and modified as knowledge and imaging modalities improve and then validated using data from well-documented clinical trials. This approach is relevant to improving clinical trial data quality.
VanderVeen DK, Kraker RT, Pineles SL, Hutchinson AK, Wilson LB, Galvin JA, Lambert SR. Orthokeratology for the Prevention of Myopic Progression in Children A report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology 2018;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To review the published evidence to evaluate the ability of orthokeratology (Ortho-K) treatment to reduce myopic progression in children and adolescents compared with the use of spectacles or daytime contact lenses for standard refractive correction. METHODS: Literature searches of the PubMed database, the Cochrane Library, and the databases of clinical trials were last conducted on May 23, 2017 with no date restrictions but limited to articles published in English. These searches yielded 162 citations, of which 13 were deemed clinically relevant for full-text review and inclusion in this assessment. The panel methodologist then assigned a level of evidence rating to the selected studies. RESULTS: The 13 articles selected for inclusion include 3 prospective, randomized clinical trials; 7 nonrandomized, prospective comparative studies; and 3 retrospective case series. One study provided level I evidence, 11 studies provided level II evidence, and 1 study provided level III evidence. Most studies were performed in populations of Asian ethnicity. Change in axial length was the primary outcome for 10 of 13 studies, and change in refraction was the primary outcome for 3 of 13 studies. In these studies, Ortho-K typically reduced axial elongation by approximately 50% over a 2-year study period. This corresponds to average axial length change values of about 0.3 mm for Ortho-K patients compared with 0.6 mm for control patients, which corresponds to a typical difference in refraction of about 0.5 D. Younger-age groups and individuals with larger than average pupil size may have a greater effect with Ortho-K. Rebound can occur after discontinuation or change to alternative refractive treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Orthokeratology may be effective in slowing myopic progression for children and adolescents, with a potentially greater effect when initiated at an early age (6-8 years). Safety remains a concern because of the risk of potentially blinding microbial keratitis from contact lens wear.
Koo EB, VanderVeen DK, Lambert SR. Global Practice Patterns in the Management of Infantile Cataracts. Eye Contact Lens 2018;44 Suppl 2:S292-S296.Abstract
OBJECTIVES: Surveys are an important tool to assess the impact of research on physicians' approach to patient care. This survey was conducted to assess current practice patterns in the management of infantile cataracts in light of the findings of the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study. METHODS: Pediatric ophthalmologists were emailed a link to the survey using newsletters from American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, World Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and the Pediatric Listserv. The 17-question survey was anonymous and active during July to August 2016. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-five respondents (North America, 65%; Asia, 12%; Europe, 9%; and other, 14%) reported operating on pediatric cataracts. Most practice in a university setting (55%). There was a strong consensus that unilateral cataract surgery should be performed between ages 4 to 6 weeks and aphakic contact lenses should be used to optically correct their eyes, particularly in children ≤6 months of age. For bilateral cataracts, there was a trend for surgeons to perform cataract surgery at an older age than unilateral cataract surgery. Surgeons who performed less than 5 versus greater than 20 pediatric cataract surgeries/year were more likely to use aphakic contact lenses in children undergoing cataract surgery more than 6 months of age (62% vs. 35%, P=0.04). Most respondents (73%) indicated that the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study had changed how they manage unilateral congenital cataracts. CONCLUSION: Most pediatric cataract surgeons perform congenital cataract surgery between ages 4 to 6 weeks and use aphakic contact lenses for initial optical correction in infants less than 6 months. Surgeons have equal preference for intraocular lenses and contact lenses in infants more than 6 months of age.
Ley D, Hallberg B, Hansen-Pupp I, Dani C, Ramenghi LA, Marlow N, Beardsall K, Bhatti F, Dunger D, Higginson JD, Mahaveer A, Mezu-Ndubuisi OJ, Reynolds P, Giannantonio C, van Weissenbruch M, Barton N, Tocoian A, Hamdani M, Jochim E, Mangili A, Chung J-K, Turner MA, Smith LEH, Hellström A, Hellström A. rhIGF-1/rhIGFBP-3 in Preterm Infants: A Phase 2 Randomized Controlled Trial. J Pediatr 2018;Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To investigate recombinant human insulin-like growth factor 1 complexed with its binding protein (rhIGF-1/rhIGFBP-3) for the prevention of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and other complications of prematurity among extremely preterm infants. STUDY DESIGN: This phase 2 trial was conducted from September 2014 to March 2016. Infants born at a gestational age of 23 weeks to 27 weeks were randomly allocated to rhIGF-1/rhIGFBP-3 (250 µg/kg/ 24 hours, continuous intravenous infusion from <24 hours of birth to postmenstrual age 29 weeks) or standard neonatal care, with follow-up to a postmenstrual age of 40 weeks. Target exposure was ≥70% IGF-1 measurements within 28-109 µg/L and ≥70% intended therapy duration. The primary endpoint was maximum severity of ROP. Secondary endpoints included time to discharge from neonatal care, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intraventricular hemorrhage, and growth measures. RESULTS: Overall, 61 infants were allocated to rhIGF-1/rhIGFBP-3, 60 to standard care (full analysis set); 24 of 61 treated infants achieved target exposure (evaluable set). rhIGF-1/rhIGFBP-3 did not decrease ROP severity or ROP occurrence. There was, however, a 53% decrease in severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia in the full analysis set (21.3% treated vs 44.9% standard care), and an 89% decrease in the evaluable set (4.8% vs 44.9%; P = .04 and P = .02, respectively) for severity distribution between groups. There was also a nonsignificant trend toward decrease in grades 3-4 intraventricular hemorrhage in the full analysis set (13.1% vs 23.3%) and in the evaluable set (8.3% vs 23.3%). Fatal serious adverse events were reported in 19.7% of treated infants (12/61) and 11.7% of control infants (7/60). No effect was observed on time to discharge from neonatal care/growth measures. CONCLUSIONS: rhIGF-1/rhIGFBP-3 did not affect development of ROP, but decreased the occurrence of severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia, with a nonsignificant decrease in grades 3-4 intraventricular hemorrhage. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01096784.
Cakir B, Liegl R, Hellgren G, Lundgren P, Sun Y, Klevebro S, Löfqvist C, Mannheimer C, Cho S, Poblete A, Duran R, Hallberg B, Canas J, Lorenz V, Liu Z-J, Sola-Visner MC, Smith LEH, Hellström A. Thrombocytopenia is associated with severe retinopathy of prematurity. JCI Insight 2018;3(19)Abstract
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is characterized by abnormal retinal neovascularization in response to vessel loss. Platelets regulate angiogenesis and may influence ROP progression. In preterm infants, we assessed ROP and correlated with longitudinal postnatal platelet counts (n = 202). Any episode of thrombocytopenia (<100 × 109/l) at ≥30 weeks postmenstrual age (at onset of ROP) was independently associated with severe ROP, requiring treatment. Infants with severe ROP also had a lower weekly median platelet count compared with infants with less severe ROP. In a mouse oxygen-induced retinopathy model of ROP, platelet counts were lower at P17 (peak neovascularization) versus controls. Platelet transfusions at P15 and P16 suppressed neovascularization, and platelet depletion increased neovascularization. Platelet transfusion decreased retinal of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) mRNA and protein expression; platelet depletion increased retinal VEGFA mRNA and protein expression. Resting platelets with intact granules reduced neovascularization, while thrombin-activated degranulated platelets did not. These data suggest that platelet releasate has a local antiangiogenic effect on endothelial cells to exert a downstream suppression of VEGFA in neural retina. Low platelet counts during the neovascularization phase in ROP is significantly associated with the development of severe ROP in preterm infants. In a murine model of retinopathy, platelet transfusion during the period of neovascularization suppressed retinopathy.
Holmes JM, Manny RE, Lazar EL, Birch EE, Kelly KR, Summers AI, Martinson SR, Raghuram A, Colburn JD, Law C, Marsh JD, Bitner DP, Kraker RT, Wallace DK, Wallace DK. A Randomized Trial of Binocular Dig Rush Game Treatment for Amblyopia in Children Aged 7 to 12 Years of Age. Ophthalmology 2018;Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare visual acuity (VA) improvement in children aged 7 to 12 years with amblyopia treated with a binocular iPad game plus continued spectacle correction versus continued spectacle correction alone. DESIGN: Multi-center randomized clinical trial PARTICIPANTS: One hundred thirty-eight participants aged 7 to 12 years with amblyopia (33 to 72 letters, i.e., approximately 20/200 to 20/40) resulting from strabismus, anisometropia, or both. Participants were required to have at least 16 weeks of optical treatment in spectacles if needed or demonstrate no improvement in amblyopic-eye visual acuity (VA) for at least 8 weeks prior to enrollment. METHODS: Eligible participants (mean age 9.6 years, mean baseline VA of 59.6 letters, history of prior amblyopia treatment other than spectacles in 96%) were randomly assigned to treatment for 8 weeks with the dichoptic binocular Dig Rush iPad game (prescribed for 1 hour per day 5 days per week) plus spectacle wear if needed (N=69) or continued spectacle correction alone if needed (N=69). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Change in amblyopic-eye VA from baseline to 4 weeks, assessed by a masked examiner. RESULTS: At 4 weeks, mean amblyopic-eye VA letter score improved from baseline by 1.3 (2-sided 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.1 to 2.6; 0.026 logMAR) with binocular treatment and by 1.7 (2-sided 95% CI: 0.4 to 3.0; 0.034 logMAR) with continued spectacle correction alone. After adjusting for baseline VA, the letter score difference between groups (binocular minus control) was -0.3 (95% CI: -2.2 to 1.5, p=0.71, difference of -0.006 logMAR). No difference in letter scores was observed between groups when the analysis was repeated after 8 weeks of treatment (adjusted mean: -0.1, 98.3% CI: -2.4 to 2.1). For the binocular group, adherence data from the iPad indicated that slightly more than half of the participants (58% and 56%) completed >75% of prescribed treatment by the 4- and 8-week visits, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In children aged 7 to <13 years, who have received previous treatment for amblyopia other than spectacles, there was no benefit to visual acuity or stereoacuity from 4 or 8 weeks of treatment with the dichoptic binocular Dig Rush iPad game.
Sun Y, Smith LEH. Retinal Vasculature in Development and Diseases. Annu Rev Vis Sci 2018;4:101-122.Abstract
The retina is one of the most metabolically active tissues in the body, consuming high levels of oxygen and nutrients. A well-organized ocular vascular system adapts to meet the metabolic requirements of the retina to ensure visual function. Pathological conditions affect growth of the blood vessels in the eye. Understanding the neuronal biological processes that govern retinal vascular development is of interest for translational researchers and clinicians to develop preventive and interventional therapeutics for vascular eye diseases that address early drivers of abnormal vascular growth. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the cellular and molecular processes governing both physiological and pathological retinal vascular development, which is dependent on the interaction among retinal cell populations, including neurons, glia, immune cells, and vascular endothelial cells. We also review animal models currently used for studying retinal vascular development.
Grundy SJ, Tshering L, Wanjala SW, Diamond MB, Audi MS, Prasad S, Shinohara RT, Rogo D, Wangmo D, Wangdi U, Aarayang A, Tshering T, Burke TF, Mateen FJ. Retinal Parameters as Compared with Head Circumference, Height, Weight, and Body Mass Index in Children in Kenya and Bhutan. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2018;99(2):482-488.Abstract
The retina shares embryological derivation with the brain and may provide a new measurement of overall growth status, especially useful in resource-limited settings. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides detailed quantification of retinal structures. We enrolled community-dwelling children ages 3-11 years old in Siaya, Kenya and Thimphu, Bhutan in 2016. We measured head circumference (age < 5 years only), height, and weight, and standardized these by age and gender. Research staff performed OCT (; Optovue, Inc., Fremont, CA), measuring the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and macular ganglion cell complex (GCC) thicknesses. A neuro-ophthalmologist performed quality control for centration, motion artifact, and algorithm-derived quality scores. Generalized estimating equations were used to determine the relationship between anthropometric and retinal measurements. Two hundred and fifty-eight children (139 females, average age 6.4 years) successfully completed at least one retinal scan, totaling 1,048 scans. Nine hundred and twenty-two scans (88.0%) were deemed usable. Fifty-three of the 258 children (20.5%) were able to complete all six scans. Kenyan children had a thinner average GCC ( < 0.001) than Bhutanese children after adjustment for age and gender, but not RNFL ( = 0.70). In models adjusting for age, gender, and study location, none of standardized height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) were statistically significantly associated with RNFL or GCC. We determined that OCT is feasible in some children in resource-limited settings, particularly those > 4 years old, using the device. We found no evidence for GCC or RNFL as a proxy for height-, weight-, or BMI-for-age. The variation in mean GCC thickness in Asian versus African children warrants further investigation.
Shaaban S, MacKinnon S, Andrews C, Staffieri SE, Maconachie GDE, Chan W-M, Whitman MC, Morton SU, Yazar S, Macgregor S, Elder JE, Traboulsi EI, Gottlob I, Hewitt AW, Hewitt AW, Hunter DG, Mackey DA, Engle EC. Genome-Wide Association Study Identifies a Susceptibility Locus for Comitant Esotropia and Suggests a Parent-of-Origin Effect. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2018;59(10):4054-4064.Abstract
Purpose: To identify genetic variants conferring susceptibility to esotropia. Esotropia is the most common form of comitant strabismus, has its highest incidence in European ancestry populations, and is believed to be inherited as a complex trait. Methods: White European American discovery cohorts with nonaccommodative (826 cases and 2991 controls) or accommodative (224 cases and 749 controls) esotropia were investigated. White European Australian and United Kingdom cohorts with nonaccommodative (689 cases and 1448 controls) or accommodative (66 cases and 264 controls) esotropia were tested for replication. We performed a genome-wide case-control association study using a mixed linear additive model. Meta-analyses of discovery and replication cohorts were then conducted. Results: A significant association with nonaccommodative esotropia was discovered (odds ratio [OR] = 1.41, P = 2.84 × 10-09) and replicated (OR = 1.23, P = 0.01) at rs2244352 [T] located within intron 1 of the WRB (tryptophan rich basic protein) gene on chromosome 21 (meta-analysis OR = 1.33, P = 9.58 × 10-11). This single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is differentially methylated, and there is a statistically significant skew toward paternal inheritance in the discovery cohort. Meta-analysis of the accommodative discovery and replication cohorts identified an association with rs912759 [T] (OR = 0.59, P = 1.89 × 10-08), an intergenic SNP on chromosome 1p31.1. Conclusions: This is the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify significant associations in esotropia and suggests a parent-of-origin effect. Additional cohorts will permit replication and extension of these findings. Future studies of rs2244352 and WRB should provide insight into pathophysiological mechanisms underlying comitant strabismus.
Rhiu S, Michalak S, Phanphruk W, Hunter DG. Anomalous Vertical Deviations in Attempted Abduction Occur in the Majority of Patients With Esotropic Duane Syndrome. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;195:171-175.Abstract
PURPOSE: To describe a phenomenon, depression in attempted abduction, not previously recognized as a feature of Duane syndrome (DS). DESIGN: Retrospective, observational case series. METHODS: Setting: Institutional practice. PATIENT POPULATION: Patients diagnosed with esotropic DS at Boston Children's Hospital from 2002 to 2015. Patients with clinical photographs documenting horizontal gaze were included. Patients with prior strabismus surgery were excluded. OBSERVATION PROCEDURES: Patients were classified into 3 groups according to their vertical eye position in attempted abduction: midline group, depression group, and elevation group. Group assignment was performed by 3 independent ophthalmologists. Baseline characteristics, eye movement, and ocular deviation were compared among the 3 groups. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Horizontal and vertical deviation on attempted abduction in the DS eye. RESULTS: Depression in attempted abduction was present in 74 of 113 unilateral patients (66%) and 18 of 42 gradable eyes (43%) of bilateral patients. Abduction limitation was significantly less severe in the midline group (median: -3.0) than in the depression group (median: -4.0) (P = .01). Vertical deviation in attempted abduction was more severe in the elevation group than in the depression group (P = .003). CONCLUSIONS: Depression of the eye in attempted abduction has not been widely described, yet it is present in the majority of DS patients. It is more likely to occur with more severe abduction limitation. This phenomenon is likely another form of dysinnervation in DS, the result either of anomalous vertical rectus muscle activation or asymmetric lateral rectus muscle innervation during attempted abduction. Awareness of vertical deviation in attempted abduction may facilitate surgical planning in affected patients.
Strauss RW, Muñoz B, Ahmed MI, Bittencourt M, Schönbach EM, Michaelides M, Birch D, Zrenner E, Ervin A-M, Charbel Issa P, Kong J, Wolfson Y, Shah M, Bagheri S, West S, Scholl HPN, Scholl HPN. The Progression of the Stargardt Disease Type 4 (ProgStar-4) Study: Design and Baseline Characteristics (ProgStar-4 Report No. 1). Ophthalmic Res 2018;:1-10.Abstract
BACKGROUND/AIMS: To describe the design and baseline characteristics of patients enrolled in the multicenter, prospective natural history study of Stargardt disease type 4. METHODS: Fifteen eligible patients aged 6 years and older at baseline, harboring disease-causing variants in the PROM1 gene, and with specified ocular lesions were enrolled. They were examined at baseline using a standard protocol, with 6 monthly follow-up visits for a 2-year period including best-corrected ETDRS visual acuity, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence (FAF), mesopic and scotopic microperimetry (MP). Areas of definitely decreased FAF (DDAF) and questionably decreased FAF were outlined and quantified on FAF images. RESULTS: Amongst the 15 patients (29 eyes) that were enrolled at 5 centers in the USA and Europe, 10 eyes (34.5%) had areas of DDAF with an average lesion area of 3.2 ± 3.5 mm2 (range 0.36-10.39 mm2) at baseline. The mean retinal sensitivity of the posterior pole derived from mesopic MP was 8.8 ± 5.8 dB. CONCLUSIONS: Data on disease progression in PROM1-related retinopathy from this study will contribute to the characterization of the natural history of disease and the exploration of the utility of several modalities to track progression and therefore to potentially be used in future interventional clinical trials.
Raghuram A, Gowrisankaran S, Swanson E, Zurakowski D, Hunter DG, Waber DP. Frequency of Visual Deficits in Children With Developmental Dyslexia. JAMA Ophthalmol 2018;136(10):1089-1095.Abstract
Importance: Developmental dyslexia (DD) is a specific learning disability of neurobiological origin whose core cognitive deficit is widely believed to involve language (phonological) processing. Although reading is also a visual task, the potential role of vision in DD has been controversial, and little is known about the integrity of visual function in individuals with DD. Objective: To assess the frequency of visual deficits (specifically vergence, accommodation, and ocular motor tracking) in children with DD compared with a control group of typically developing readers. Design, Setting, and Participants: A prospective, uncontrolled observational study was conducted from May 28 to October 17, 2016, in an outpatient ophthalmology ambulatory clinic among 29 children with DD and 33 typically developing (TD) children. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were frequencies of deficits in vergence (amplitude, fusional ranges, and facility), accommodation (amplitude, facility, and accuracy), and ocular motor tracking (Developmental Eye Movement test and Visagraph eye tracker). Results: Among the children with DD (10 girls and 19 boys; mean [SD] age, 10.3 [1.2] years) and the TD group (21 girls and 12 boys; mean [SD] age, 9.4 [1.4] years), accommodation deficits were more frequent in the DD group than the TD group (16 [55%] vs 3 [9%]; difference = 46%; 95% CI, 25%-67%; P < .001). For ocular motor tracking, 18 children in the DD group (62%) had scores in the impaired range (in the Developmental Eye Movement test, Visagraph, or both) vs 5 children in the TD group (15%) (difference, 47%; 95% CI, 25%-69%; P < .001). Vergence deficits occurred in 10 children in the DD group (34%) and 5 children in the TD group (15%) (difference, 19%; 95% CI, -2.2% to 41%; P = .08). In all, 23 children in the DD group (79%) and 11 children in the TD group (33%) had deficits in 1 or more domain of visual function (difference, 46%; 95% CI, 23%-69%; P < .001). Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that deficits in visual function are far more prevalent in school-aged children with DD than in TD readers, but the possible cause and clinical relevance of these deficits are uncertain. Further study is needed to determine the extent to which treating these deficits can improve visual symptoms and/or reading parameters.

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