A reassessment of infantile esotropia. XLIV Edward Jackson memorial lecture

Am J Ophthalmol. 1988 Jan 15;105(1):1-10. doi: 10.1016/0002-9394(88)90113-4.


Essential infantile esotropia is an early acquired, not a congenital, condition, although congenital factors may favor its development between the ages of 3 and 6 months. It must be distinguished from other forms of esotropia with an onset between birth and the first six months of life. The cause of essential infantile esotropia remains unknown, but advances in our knowledge can be expected from the rapidly emerging discipline of infant psychophysics. In analyzing treatment results, a clear distinction must be made between normal, subnormal, and anomalous forms of binocular cooperation. While complete restoration of normal binocular function is rarely, if ever, achieved, anomalous binocular cooperation has many functional advantages over suppression or diplopia and should not be disturbed by overzealous treatment. Subnormal binocular vision is considered to be an optimal, microtropia a desirable, and a residual small angle heterotropia an acceptable end stage of surgical therapy. In a study of 358 surgically treated patients with a documented onset of essential infantile esotropia before age 6 months, subnormal binocular vision was present in 71 (20%), a microtropia in 25 (7%), and a small angle esotropia or exotropia in 140 (39%) of the patients. Surgical alignment before completion of the second year of life improved the chances for an optimal treatment result.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Esotropia* / diagnosis
  • Esotropia* / etiology
  • Esotropia* / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Strabismus* / diagnosis
  • Strabismus* / etiology
  • Strabismus* / surgery