Ophthalmologic disorders and risk factors in children with autism spectrum disorder

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3 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report the results of our review of all children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who underwent complete pediatric ophthalmologic examination at our institution over a 10-year period. Methods: The medical records of all children (0-17 years of age) with a diagnosis of ASD seen at University of California, Davis, over a 10-year period were reviewed retrospectively. Demographic data, birth history, genetic testing results, neuropsychiatric comorbidities, and ophthalmologic findings were extracted from the record. Multiple logistic regression was used to identify risk factors for ophthalmologic disorders. Results: A total of 2,555 children with ASD were seen at the university over the study period, of whom 380 (15%) were evaluated in the ophthalmology clinic. Eye examination revealed an ophthalmic diagnosis in 71% of children, of which the most common were significant refractive error (42%), strabismus (32%), and amblyopia (19%). Optic neuropathy occurred in 14 children (4%). Cerebral palsy was a significant risk factor for refractive error (OR = 3.22; P = 0.016), strabismus (OR = 3.59; P = 0.012), amblyopia (OR = 3.49; P = 0.0097), and optic neuropathy (OR = 14.0; P = 0.0009). Conclusions: Ophthalmic disorders were found in 71% of children with ASD evaluated at our university-based ophthalmology clinic. The rates of significant refractive error, strabismus, amblyopia, and optic neuropathy exceeded those of the general pediatric population. ASD and cerebral palsy may have additive risk for these disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of AAPOS
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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