Repair of strabismus and binocular fusion in children with cerebral palsy: Gross Motor Function Classification Scale

Fatema Ghasia, Janice Brunstrom-Hernandez, Lawrence Tychsen

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Purpose. Children with cerebral palsy (CP) tend to be either excluded from studies of strabismus repair or pooled with children who have other neurologic disorders. The authors limited this study to children with defined CP to determine the success or failure of restoring eye alignment and fusion. Methods. An observational, cross-sectional, prospective study was conducted on a representative cohort of 50 children. CP severity ranged from Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) level 1 (least severe) to 5 (most severe). Mean age at entrance and surgery was 3.5 years, and mean follow-up was 4.1 years (minimum 1 year). Results. The predominant form of strabismus was infantile-onset: esotropia in 54%, exotropia in 26%, and dyskinesia in 10%. Sixty-six percent of esotropic children and 61% of exotropic children achieved optimal (microtropic) alignment after an average of 2 and 1.8 surgical procedures, respectively. The likelihood of optimal alignment was similar in children with mild (GMFCS level 1-2) versus severe (GMFCS level 3-5) CP (P = 0.7; χ 2). Irrespective of GMFCS severity, 46% of children gained binocular fusion/stereopsis, but the quality of fusion gained was greater in children with mild CP (P < 0.05). Earlier surgery was more likely to be successful (P < 0.05). Conclusions. Restoration of binocular alignment and a degree of fusion is a realistic goal in the majority of strabismic CP children. Repair may be achieved in children at both the mild and the severe ends of the GMFCS spectrum, without undue concern about treatment futility or excessive reoperation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7664-7671
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 2011


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