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Incomitance and Eye Dominance in Intermittent ExotropiaIncomitance in Exotropia



To determine if the deviation angle changes in subjects with intermittent exotropia as they alternate fixation between the right and left eye in primary gaze.


In this prospective observational cohort study, 37 subjects with intermittent exotropia were tested for evidence of incomitance. The position of each eye was recorded with a video tracker during fixation on a small central target. A cover-uncover test was performed by occluding one eye with a shutter that passed infrared light, allowing continuous tracking of both eyes. The deviation angle was measured during periods of right eye and left eye fixation. Incomitance was assessed as a function of eye preference, fixation stability, and exotropia variability.


The mean exotropia was 18.2° ± 8.1°. A difference between right exotropia and left exotropia was detectable in 16/37 subjects. Allowing for potential tracking error, the incomitance had a mean amplitude of 1.7°. It was not related to a difference in accommodative effort, eye preference, fixation stability, or variability in deviation.


Comitance is regarded as a feature that distinguishes strabismus from paralytic or restrictive processes. Unexpectedly, eye tracking during the cover-uncover test showed that incomitance is present in approximately 40% of subjects with intermittent exotropia. It averages 10% of the exotropia, and can equal up to 5°. When substantial, it may be worth considering when planning surgical correction.

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