December 09, 2013
1 min read

Cycloplegic eye drops needed when measuring refraction in children under general anesthesia

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If accurate refractive measurements are needed, cycloplegic eye drops are necessary to reduce the accommodative tone in children when general anesthesia is used, according to a study.

The study comprised 41 children with an average age of 3.7 years who underwent cycloplegic retinoscopy and subsequent streak retinoscopy under general anesthesia without cycloplegia after 6 months.

Myopic measurements were significantly higher for the sphere and spherical equivalent with retinoscopy under general anesthesia compared with cycloplegic retinoscopy (P < .0001); however, there was no significant difference between retinoscopy under general anesthesia and cycloplegic retinoscopy in cylinder power and axis.

“The main study question, from a practical perspective, was whether cycloplegic eye drops are needed when measuring the refractive error in children under general anesthesia, and the short answer is yes,” the study authors said.

Consideration should be given to a child’s age and condition regarding use of cycloplegia, they said.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.