Excess cyclovergence in patients with intermittent exotropia

A V van den Berg, L J van Rijn, J T de Faber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Recently, we developed a model of binocular fixation. This model predicts the amount of cyclovergence as a function of target elevation and horizontal target vergence. The prediction derives from the assumption that version and vergence add linearly and that the eye positions are constrained in three respects: (1) the foveae of the two eyes are directed towards the target, (2) the version component follows Listing's law, i.e. cycloversion, and horizontal and vertical version are not independent, (3) the vergence component is restricted to a plane approximately perpendicular to Listing's plane, i.e. horizontal, vertical and torsional vergence are not independent. The version and the vergence components are characterized by a common primary direction for the two eyes. We applied this model to data of patients with intermittent exotropia. In two patients with an amblyopic eye we found that the common primary direction rotates towards the amblyopic eye. In the third patient, not suffering from amblyopia, the common primary direction was practically straight ahead. In all three patients, cyclovergence angles were larger than those found in normal subjects. We found that the increased cyclovergence was compatible with our model for normal subjects if an offset on the horizontal vergence was given. This offset represents the additional convergence effort required in these patients to overcome the exodeviation of the eyes. According to our model the increased horizontal vergence effort results in excess cyclovergence. The relation between horizontal vergence and cyclovergence offers a new method for measuring the angle of exotropia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3265-78
Number of pages14
JournalVision Research
Issue number23-24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995


  • Adult
  • Amblyopia/physiopathology
  • Convergence, Ocular/physiology
  • Exotropia/physiopathology
  • Eye Movements/physiology
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular/physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Rotation
  • Vision, Binocular/physiology


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