Objective: To compare daily atropine to weekend atropine as prescribed treatments for moderate amblyopia in children younger than 7 years.
Design: Prospective, randomized multicenter clinical trial (30 sites).
Participants: One hundred sixty-eight children younger than 7 years with amblyopia in the range of 20/40 to 20/80 associated with strabismus, anisometropia, or both.
Intervention: Randomization either to daily atropine or to weekend atropine for 4 months. Partial responders were continued on the randomized treatment until no further improvement was noted.
Main outcome measure: Visual acuity (VA) in the amblyopic eye after 4 months.
Results: The improvement in VA of the amblyopic eye from baseline to 4 months averaged 2.3 lines in each group. The VA of the amblyopic eye at study completion was either (1) at least 20/25 or (2) better than or equal to that of the sound eye in 39 children (47%) in the daily group and 45 children (53%) in the weekend group. The VA of the sound eye at the end of follow-up was reduced by 2 lines in one patient in each group. Stereoacuity outcomes were similar in the 2 groups.
Conclusions: Weekend atropine provides an improvement in VA of a magnitude similar to that of the improvement provided by daily atropine in treating moderate amblyopia in children 3 to 7 years old. This article contains additional online-only material available at http://www.ophsource.com/periodicals/ophtha.