Binocularity in comitant strabismus: binocular visual fields studies

Doc Ophthalmol. 1982 Nov 1;53(3):249-81. doi: 10.1007/BF00140423.


A critical review is made of the literature on binocular perimetry in strabismus. A broad range of results was obtained by various authors, because different testing techniques were used. The concept of sensory testing of strabismic patients in casual seeing condition should be introduced also into binocular perimetry. Therefore a series of experiments is presented in which patients with small-angle comitant strabismus were tested. It was shown that: a) in small-angle esotropia the areas of single vision previously thought to be due to suppression are, instead, areas of binocular vision sustained by anomalous retinal correspondence (ARC); b) this can be seen only when using fusable stimuli as test targets; c) no suppression scotomas were found in patients with small-angle strabismus in the whole visual field; d) appropriate control-marks for binocularity are necessary, i.e. monocularly presented items. They influence the results, as well e) the area of binocular single vision in strabismus (called pseudo-Panum's area) is wider than the Panum's area of normals. Moreover it is easier to disrupt binocular cooperation sustained by ARC causing diplopia than binocular cooperation in normals; f) ARC seems to be more deeply rooted in the center than in the periphery of the visual field; g) superimposable findings were obtained in small-angle constant exotropia; h) in large-angle exotropia wide suppression scotomas were found, which often override the midline. Hemianopic suppression scotomas in exotropia can be found only when 'dissociating' testing techniques are used; i) the same group of patients with small-angle esotropia was examined with the author's technique and with the classical method proposed by Harms. The results were strongly dependent on the method used and the same patient responded differently to the two tests. It is concluded that in small-angle strabismus there is an anomalous type of binocular single vision, which can be tested with binocular visual field techniques. This binocularity can only be found when non-artificial testing conditions are used. The usefulness of this anomalous binocular vision in the every day seeing condition of the patient is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Depth Perception / physiology*
  • Diplopia / physiopathology
  • Esotropia / physiopathology
  • Exotropia / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Scotoma / physiopathology
  • Strabismus / physiopathology*
  • Visual Field Tests / instrumentation
  • Visual Field Tests / methods*
  • Visual Fields*