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One in Four Children with Amblyopia Have Recurrence

The most successfully treated children were most likely to have a recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Children with amblyopia have a high risk of recurrence in the year after treatment ends, according to the results of a study published in the August issue of Ophthalmology. Factors associated with a higher risk of recurrence included better visual acuity at the time treatment ends, better overall visual improvement during treatment, and a prior history of recurrence.

Jonathan M. Holmes, of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues followed 69 children with successfully treated amblyopia to identify patient demographic and ocular factors that were associated with recurrence. The children were followed for 52 weeks after the cessation of patching.

Overall, 25 percent of children developed a recurrence. A higher risk of recurrence was associated with better visual acuity at the time that patching treatment was discontinued, a larger overall improvement of amblyopic eye visual acuity during treatment, and a history of recurrence. Orthotropia and excellent stereoacuity after treatment were not protective against recurrence.

"The higher risk of recurrence in the most successfully treated children with amblyopia and absence of protection from orthotropia and excellent random dot stereoacuity suggests that careful and prolonged follow-up is needed for all children who have been previously treated for amblyopia," the authors conclude.

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