A study of heredity as a risk factor in strabismus

Eye (Lond). 2002 Sep;16(5):519-21. doi: 10.1038/sj.eye.6700138.


Aims: Inheritance is recognised to have a part in the aetiology of strabismus but previous studies have not adequately distinguished between different types of strabismus leading to wide variations in reported findings. The aim of this study was to investigate the importance of heredity in different types of strabismus.

Methods: The parents of children attending for treatment of strabismus over a one-month period were interviewed to identify relatives with a history of strabismus. A complete three-generation pedigree was established for 96 index cases who were classified into four groups: infantile esotropia (26 cases), accommodative esotropia (49 cases), anisometropic esotropia (15 cases), and exotropia (six cases).

Results: Forty-three of a total of 165 (26.1%) first degree relatives of patients with hypermetropic accommodative esotropia were affected. In contrast, 15 of a total of 101 (14.9%) first degree relatives of patients with infantile esotropia, eight of a total of 66 (12.1%) first degree relatives of patients with anisometropic esotropia, and one of a total of 25 (4%) first degree relatives of patients with exotropia were affected. Analysing the data using logistic regression with a random term for family showed a significantly higher proportion of affected first degree relatives in the accommodative group than in any of the other three diagnostic groups.

Conclusion: A history of strabismus appears to be more common in hypermetropic accommodative esotropia than in infantile esotropia, anisometropic esotropia or exotropia. More detailed investigation of the role of heredity in the aetiology of accommodative esotropia is needed.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Esotropia / genetics
  • Exotropia / genetics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pedigree
  • Risk Factors
  • Strabismus / genetics*