Purpose: To report the prevalence and causes of amblyopia among children with ptosis diagnosed in a well-defined population over a 40-year period. Design: Retrospective, population-based cohort study. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the charts of 107 patients younger than 19 years for the prevalence and causes of amblyopia who were diagnosed with childhood ptosis and were residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, from January 1, 1965, through December 31, 2004. Results: Amblyopia was diagnosed in 16 (14.9%) of the 107 patients with childhood ptosis. Fourteen (14.6%) of 96 patients diagnosed with a congenital form of ptosis demonstrated amblyopia. Twelve (14.8%) of the 81 patients diagnosed with simple congenital ptosis had amblyopia, 7 (8.6%) cases of which solely were the result of eyelid occlusion of the visual axis. The causes of amblyopia in the remaining 5 patients were significant refractive error in 3 patients and strabismus in 2 patients. Conclusions: Amblyopia occurred in 1 in 7 children diagnosed with ptosis in this population-based cohort. In approximately half of those with amblyopia, or less than 10% of all patients, the disease solely was the result of eyelid occlusion of the visual axis.
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