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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Preliminary report: examination of young children with Lea symbols.

BACKGROUND: Lea symbols are highly sensitive for detection of amblyopia in cooperative patients. They are favorable for visual acuity assessment in childhood. Therefore, we assessed age-related normal values and interocular differences of Lea symbol visual acuity. METHODS/PATIENTS: We reexamined 50 out of 193 children aged 21 months to 7 years who came for a routine pediatric examination between January and November 1999. Lea symbol acuity (Lea Symbols Single Symbol Book (LS) and Lea 15-Line Folding Distance Chart ( CLS)) and Landolt-C acuity (single (LC) and crowded with 2.6' inter-optotype distance (LC(2.6))) were measured. A three out of four criterion was used. Strabismus and any organic eye disease were excluded by orthoptic and ophthalmologic examination, consisting of biomicroscopy, ophthalmoscopy, retinoscopy or refractometry, cover test or Hirschberg test and Lang Stereotest. RESULTS: Only 26% of the parents (50 out of 193) accepted an examination in our hospital. In 35 (32) of the 50 children, visual acuity could be measured in both eyes separately with single (crowded) Lea symbols, while 26 (25) children could be examined in both eyes monocularly with the Landolt-C with single (crowded) optotypes. Except for one 3-year-old boy, all of the children older than 30 months could be tested with single Lea symbols. Lea acuity surpassed Landolt acuity. The difference was about 1.5 lines (1.5 dB) for both the single and the crowded optotypes. In 63% (69%) of the children who could be tested monocularly, LS acuity ( CLS acuity) was higher than 0.8 (0.63). 89% (83%) of the children had an interocular difference of maximum 1 line for single (crowded) Lea symbols. CONCLUSIONS: The youngest child whose visual acuity could be assessed with Lea symbols was 23 months old. Almost every child older than 30 months could be tested with Lea symbols. Lea acuity higher than 1 and an interocular difference less than 2 lines is not suspect for amblyopia. Children with a difference of more than one line should be reexamined.[1]


  1. Preliminary report: examination of young children with Lea symbols. Becker, R.H., Hübsch, S.H., Gräf, M.H., Kaufmann, H. Strabismus (2000) [Pubmed]
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