Modified Allen pictures to assess amblyopia in young children

Ophthalmology. 1990 Jun;97(6):827-32. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(90)32504-6.


To produce a test of visual acuity for young children that is more sensitive to amblyopia than current preschool vision tests, the authors surrounded four Allen pictures with "crowding" bars. This modified Allen test was evaluated by measuring acuity of amblyopic children (n = 28) and children (n = 10) and adults (n = 5) with normal eyes. Mean acuities of amblyopic eyes for the modified pictures was 0.8 octaves or nearly three logMar Snellen lines poorer than for the isolated pictures. For nonamblyopic and normal eyes modified picture acuity averaged 0.1 to 0.4 octaves poorer than isolated picture acuity. Average acuities of amblyopic eyes (n = 22) for the modified pictures agreed with line letter acuities. These results suggest that the modified picture test induces contour interaction similar to that of line letter tests, and thus, is a more sensitive test of amblyopia in the preschool child than isolated symbols.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amblyopia / diagnosis*
  • Astigmatism / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Photography
  • Refractive Errors / diagnosis
  • Vision Tests / instrumentation
  • Vision Tests / methods*
  • Visual Acuity