Predicting visual acuity in children with colobomas involving the optic nerve

Timothy W. Olsen, C. Gail Summers, William H. Knobloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background: This study evaluates the relationship to visual acuity of four ophthalmoscopic features of colobomas involving the optic nerve. The goal was to identify those features that could predict potential visual acuity of children with these colobomas. Methods: Fundus photographs of 23 eyes with colobomas involving the optic nerve met the entry criteria and were evaluated by two masked observers. The following features were evaluated: coloboma size, optic nerve color, foveal development, and subfoveal retinal pigment epithelial changes. Simple linear regression was used to identify the feature that most closely correlated with visual acuity. Refractive status was assessed by cycloplegic refraction. Results: The only component that correlated with the development of good visual acuity was the degree of foveal involvement by the optic nerve coloboma (P=.002, R=0.8). Significant refractive error and anisometropia were common in patients with colobomas involving the optic nerve. Conclusion: Central visual acuity in children born with colobomas involving the optic nerve correlates with the development of normal foveal anatomy, regardless of the size of the coloboma, the color of the optic nerve, or the presence of subfoveal pigmentary changes. Because refractive error is common, these children should receive an accurate refraction and amblyopia treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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