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Spasm of the near reflex: a common diagnostic dilemma?

Eleni Papageorgiou  Dimitrios Kardaras  Eftychia Kapsalaki  Efthymios Dardiotis  Asimina Mataftsi  Evangelia E.Tsironi  
【摘要】:AIM: To report the clinical characteristics and diagnostic procedures used in patients with spasm of the near reflex(SNR), in order to present common investigation strategies and diagnostic pitfalls.METHODS: Retrospective case series of twenty-two patients, mainly children, with SNR or accommodation spasm(AS). AS was diagnosed on the basis of blurred vision and a difference of 2 dioptres between manifest and cycloplegic retinoscopy. If esotropia and miosis were present, the patients were diagnosed with SNR. All patients underwent visual acuity testing, orthoptic evaluation, assessment of refraction before and after cycloplegia, and dilated fundoscopy. Additional diagnostic investigations, such as neuroimaging, lumbar puncture(LP), electrophysiology and blood tests, were also recorded. Screen use among children was assessed in hours per day.RESULTS: There were 19 female and 3 male patients(age range 7-33 y, median=10 y). Seventeen patients had AS and 5 patients had SNR, with episodic blurry vision and headaches being the most common symptoms. Brain neuroimaging was performed in six patients(27%), although only one had a history of brain trauma. Two of those patients underwent visual evoked potentials and three also underwent LP and received intravenous steroid therapy. The majority of patients(90%) reported prolonged daily screen time(2 h/d), and in 55% of cases there were concurrent social problems or psychological triggers. Treatment consisted of careful explanation of the condition, atropine1% eye drops and full cycloplegic correction by means of bifocal glasses. CONCLUSION: The diagnosis of SNR and AS may be challenging, because symptoms are usually intermittent and nonspecific, and a large number of patients are often subjected to redundant and potentially time-consuming examinations and treatment, that may exaggerate the underlying psychological disorder. Hence, detailed clinical testing and assessment of psychosocial profile is necessary, in order to avoid unnecessary investigations. Neuroimaging should be performed only in selected cases. Finally, due to prolonged screen use SNR and AS may become more frequent in the future.

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