Background: Although there have been a number of studies on the size of the suppression scotoma in divergent strabismus, there have been no reports on the full extent (i.e. size as well as depth) of this scotoma.
Methods: Binocular static perimetry was used to measure suppression scotomas in five patients with primary divergent strabismus and ten patients with consecutive divergent strabismus. Four control subjects were also included in the study. With two modified Friedmann visual field analysers, we measured the visual field of both eyes under monocular and binocular viewing conditions. The objective angle of squint ranged from 3 degrees to 25 degrees. Best corrected visual acuity was at least 0.4, but mostly 1.0 in both eyes.
Results: All subjects had normal visual fields for each eye under monocular viewing conditions. In 12 of the 15 subjects, we found a large area of suppression encompassing the projection of the fixation point as well as that of the fovea in the non-fixating eye under binocular viewing conditions. In 2 of these 12 patients, one with primary and one with consecutive divergent strabismus, the area of suppression was located nasally to the position of the fovea in the field of the non-fixating eye (nasal hemisuppression). In another two patients with divergent squint combined with vertical deviation, a small fixation-point suppression scotoma was found. The depth of suppression ranged from 3 dB to 16 dB. In one subject only, no suppression was found.
Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the shape of the suppression scotoma is not related to the origin of divergent strabismus or to the angle of squint. Our results also indicate that the critical age for the development of suppression in divergent squint might be up to 14 years.