Test allows early detection of vision problems in infants with hemangiomas of eyelids

Apr 01, 2009

In children with vascular birthmarks around the eye, even partial blockage of vision can lead to visual loss due to amblyopia. Now a simple test can detect early evidence of amblyopia in infants too young for conventional vision testing, reports a study in the April issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology published by Elsevier.

Led by Dr. William V. Good of Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, the researchers performed the early test in four infants with vascular birthmarks, or hemangiomas, on the upper or lower eyelids. These birthmarks generally resolve over time without treatment. However, if they are blocking part of the field of vision in the affected eye, they can lead to permanent reductions in vision, called amblyopia.

The test, called "sweep visual evoked potential vernier acuity," works by monitoring brain responses to changes in the alignment of two lines. None of the four infants had had any clinical evidence of amblyopia.

However, the vernier acuity measurements identified early visual abnormalities in the eyes with birthmarks. Brainwave responses to the shifting lines were significantly reduced in the eyes affected by hemangiomas, compared to the fellow eyes.

Vascular birthmarks occurring in the area around the eye have the potential to cause significant before the abnormality resolves, or before the child is old enough for conventional vision testing. Dr. Good commented, "Many congenital ocular or eyelid abnormalities present physicians with a management conundrum: Is treatment for potential amblyopia necessary?"

The new results show that vernier visual acuity measurements are a promising tool for early detection of "amblyopia-like effects" in children with eyelid hemangiomas, who can then be targeted for treatment. "This study has implications for the management of children with intermittent , who may develop amblyopia even when the clinical assessment is negative," added Dr. Good. "It is likely that these findings extend to other eyelid problems, including congenital ptosis [drooping eyelid], where amblyopia may be present even in the absence of clinical features for amblyopia."

More information: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ajo

Source: Elsevier

Explore further: Pain treatments less effective for those with irritable bowel

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Lazy eye' treatment shows promise in adults

Mar 03, 2008

New evidence from a laboratory study and a pilot clinical trial confirms the promise of a simple treatment for amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” according to researchers from the U.S. and China.

Seeing Straight

Jun 27, 2008

Evidence from laboratory studies and a pilot clinical trial confirms the promise of a simple treatment for amblyopia, or “lazy eye,” according to researchers from the United States and China.

Corneal transplant technique shows promise in children

Jul 15, 2008

For infants and children with blinding diseases of the cornea, a sophisticated new corneal transplantation technique offers the hope of improving vision while overcoming the technical difficulty and low success rate of traditional ...

Video games shown to improve vision

Mar 15, 2007

According to a new study from the University of Rochester, playing action video games sharpens vision. In tests of visual acuity that assess the ability to see objects accurately in a cluttered space, game players scored ...

Recommended for you

UN Ebola czar heads to West Africa

59 minutes ago

The UN's new pointman on Ebola said Tuesday he will travel to West Africa this week to shore up health services in the four countries hit by the worst-ever outbreak of the virus.

Vietnam, Myanmar test patients for Ebola

1 hour ago

Vietnam and Myanmar are testing three patients for the deadly Ebola virus after they arrived in the Southeast Asian nations from Africa suffering fever, health officials said.

User comments : 0