Sensitivity of photoscreening to detect high-magnitude amblyogenic factors

J AAPOS. 2002 Apr;6(2):86-91. doi: 10.1067/mpa.2002.121168.


Purpose: To determine the sensitivity of a unique pupil-size based set of referral criteria of the MTI PhotoScreener(Medical Technology and Innovations, Inc, Cedar Falls, Iowa) to detect high magnitude refractive error.

Methods: The photoscreening photographs of 949 preschool children previously analyzed were reevaluated with the new referral criteria. The original photographs had been obtained from pediatricians' offices and public health and Women, Infants, and Children's (WIC) clinics. The results of this analysis were compared with the gold standard clinical examination and cycloplegic refraction. Sensitivities were calculated for amblyogenic factors based on the magnitude of the refractive error.

Results: For 26 patients with anisometropia, the sensitivity to detect anisometropia increased from 46% for +1.25 or greater spherical interocular difference to 100% for +2.50 spherical intraocular difference. For 36 patients with hypermetropia in at least 1 meridian ranging from +3.75 to +7.50 D, sensitivity increased from 53% to detect +3.75 D or greater to 70% for +5.00 D or greater. The sensitivity to detect hypermetropia of +5.75 D or greater was 100%. These criteria detected 82% of patients with astigmatism greater than or equal to +3.00 D, and 100% of patients with astigmatism greater than +3.50 D.

Conclusion: It is crucial that screening programs avoid over-referrals caused by high false-positive screening rates. The sensitivity of our new criteria increases with higher magnitude refractive error; patients with moderate and severe amblyogenic factors are almost never missed. While the sensitivity to detect lower magnitude refractive error is poor, the amblyogenic impact of such errors remains to be determined.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia / diagnosis*
  • Anisometropia / diagnosis
  • Astigmatism / diagnosis*
  • Child, Preschool
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperopia / diagnosis
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Photography
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vision Screening / instrumentation
  • Vision Screening / methods*