Reliability of the Otago photoscreener. A study of a thousand cases

Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1993 Nov;21(4):257-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.1993.tb00965.x.


The Otago photoscreener is a 35 mm single len reflex camera in which the flash light comes from a narrow ring around the outer margin of its lens. The margin is also the limiting aperture of the optic system and in the centre of the lens is a flickering fixation light. In a colour photograph taken at a distance of 66 cm from the face of the subject who is accurately focusing on and fixing the camera fixation light with both eyes, the fundus reflex in each pupil is very dark red and the corneal light reflexes are symmetrical. If either or both eyes are not appropriately focused or fixing, the fundus reflex is brighter and yellow or white. This article describes a prospective trial of the performance of the Otago photoscreener in a series of 1000 infants with actual or suspected amblyopia, refractive error or strabismus. In this study photoscreening showed a sensitivity of 94% and a specificity of 79%. Photoscreening also identified some cases of esotropia and of refractive error which were missed on clinical examination. In this series photoscreening passed as normal three children with mild to moderately severe amblyopia. This represents les than 1% of the clinically abnormal children.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Amblyopia / diagnosis*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Ophthalmology / instrumentation
  • Ophthalmology / methods*
  • Photography / instrumentation*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Strabismus / diagnosis*
  • Visual Acuity