Incidence and types of childhood exotropia: a population-based study

Ophthalmology. 2005 Jan;112(1):104-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2004.07.033.


Objective: To determine the incidence and types of childhood exotropia in a defined population.

Design: Retrospective, population-based cohort.

Participants: All pediatric (<19 years old) residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota diagnosed with an exodeviation (>or=10 prism diopters) from January 1, 1985 through December 31, 1994.

Methods: The medical records of all potential patients identified by the resources of the Rochester Epidemiology Project were reviewed.

Main outcome measures: Incidence and types of childhood exotropia.

Results: Two hundred five cases of childhood exotropia were identified during the 10-year period, yielding an annual age- and gender-adjusted incidence of 64.1 (95% confidence interval: 55.2-72.9)/100,000 patients younger than 19 years. This rate corresponds to a prevalence of approximately 1.0% of all children younger than 11 years, with a significant decrease in the incidence during the second decade of life (P<0.001). Eighty-six percent of the children had intermittent exotropia, convergence insufficiency, or an exotropia in the setting of an abnormal central nervous system.

Conclusions: The incidence of childhood exotropia from this population-based study is comparable to the prevalence rates in prior reports. Exotropia is most prevalent during the first decade of life, with intermittent exotropia and convergence insufficiency occurring most frequently.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Exotropia / classification*
  • Exotropia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Minnesota / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Distribution