Intermittent exotropia surgery: results in different age groups

<div><p>ABSTRACT Purpose: To report the outcomes in patients undergoing surgical correction of intermittent exotropia and to compare the age at surgery to motor and sensory success. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study. The results of patients with intermittent exotropia treated with surgery over a 4-year period were reviewed. Patients were divided into two groups based on age at first surgery (<4 years vs. ≥4 years), and motor and sensory outcomes were compared between the two groups. Results: One hundred thirty-six patients were evaluated, with 67 and 51 patients undergoing surgery before and after the age of 4 years, respectively. The mean age at surgery was 6.8 ± 2.6 years. The reoperation rate for the patients who underwent surgery before 4 years of age was 48% versus 42% for the ones who underwent surgery after this age (p=0.93). Postoperative stereopsis showed an inverse linear association with age at surgery (p<0.001). For each month younger at the time of surgery, there was 0.69 s of arc worsening in the Titmus test. Conversely, when we separately analyzed the patients in whom the first postoperative alignment was esotropic vs. orthophoric/exotropic, we found no correlation between the immediate postoperative alignment in the first week and sensory outcome at the last visit. Conclusions: When indicated, patients with intermittent exotropia can be operated upon safely under 4 years of age, and may even present better motor results than older patients. Postoperative stereoacuity in younger children revealed to be worse than in older children; however, this result is unlikely to be due to inadequate age for surgery, but rather, immaturity for performing the stereopsis test.</p></div>