THURSDAY, July 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For children with severe amblyopia, combined atropine and patching therapy (CAPT) results in greater mean improvement of amblyopic eye visual acuity (VA) compared with patching alone, according to a study published online July 15 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Shu Wang, M.D., from Fudan University in Shanghai, and colleagues compared the efficacy of CAPT versus patching alone for six months in children aged 3 to 12 years with severe amblyopia resulting from strabismus, anisometropia, or both. Overall, 53 and 55 children were randomly assigned to CAPT and patching therapy, respectively.

The researchers found that at six months, the mean improvement in amblyopic eye VA was 0.72 and 0.58 logMAR (7.2 versus 5.8 lines) for CAPT and patching alone, respectively (difference, 0.14 logMAR [1.4 lines]). At three months, the amblyopic eye VA improvement in the CAPT group was also greater than in the patching alone group (difference, 0.13 logMAR [1.3 lines]). None of the participants withdrew due to adverse effects.

“The current study indicates that both the CAPT and patching alone therapy were efficacious for children aged 3 to 12 years with severe amblyopia,” the authors write. “CAPT resulted in more mean improvement of amblyopic eye VA than patching alone, although the differences were relatively small and the clinical relevance of this difference cannot be determined by this trial.”

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