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Vision in children with hydrocephalus.

Magazine article
Authors Susann Andersson
Eva-Karin Persson
Eva Aring
Barbro Lindquist
Gordon N Dutton
Anna-Lena Hellström
Published in Developmental medicine and child neurology
Volume 48
Issue 10
Pages 836-41
ISSN 0012-1622
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 836-41
Language en
Keywords Adolescent, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Humans, Hydrocephalus, complications, physiopathology, surgery, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, statistics & numerical data, Nystagmus, Pathologic, etiology, surgery, Perceptual Disorders, etiology, surgery, Statistics, Nonparametric, Strabismus, etiology, surgery, Vision Disorders, etiology, surgery, Vision, Ocular, physiology, Visual Acuity, physiology, Visual Fields, physiology
Subject categories Neurology, Pediatrics


Hydrocephalus in children has many aetiologies, and can cause multiple ophthalmic and visual disorders. This study sets out to detect and quantify visual and visuoperceptual dysfunction in children who have received surgical treatment for hydrocephalus with and without myelomeningocele, and to relate the results to the associated diagnoses and results from a comparison group. Seventy-five school-aged children (41 males, 34 females) with surgically-treated hydrocephalus and 140 comparison children (76 males, 64 females) matched for age and sex underwent comprehensive ophthalmologic examination. Median age at examination was 9 years and 4 months (range 7 y 4 mo-12 y 10 mo). Visual function deficits were identified in 83% (62/75) of the children with hydrocephalus. Visual impairment (binocular visual acuity <0.3) was found in 15% (11/73; comparison group 0%) but in none with myelomeningocele. Strabismus was found in 69% (51/74; comparison group 4% [5/140], p < 0.001), and refractive errors were found in 67% (47/70; comparison group 20% [28/140], p < 0.001). Cognitive visual dysfunction was identified in 59% (38/64; comparison group 3% [4/140], p < 0.001). These disorders were identified in various combinations and comprised impaired ability to plan movement through depth (e.g. going down a stair), impaired simultaneous perception, impaired perception of movement, impaired orientation, and (least frequently) impaired recognition. In this study, children with hydrocephalus associated with myelomeningocele were least commonly affected. Visual disorders were most frequent in those with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, and/or cognitive disability.

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