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Is the 15∆ Base in Prism Test Reliable for Detection of Amblyopia in Anisometropic Patients?

Strabismus 2017, vol. 25, issue 3


The 15∆ base in prism test (15∆BIPT) introduced by Gobin is often used in The Netherlands to detect fixation preference, especially in young and preverbal children in whom a reliable measurement of the visual acuity (VA) is difficult. It is assumed that the fixation preference detected by the 15∆BIPT can be used to predict the presence of amblyopia. The aim of this retrospective case note review was to investigate the accuracy of the 15∆BIPT in detection of amblyopia in anisometropic patients.


Four hundred and twelve files of anisometropic patients visiting the orthoptic department of The Rotterdam Eye Hospital were analyzed. Amblyopia was defined as an intraocular difference in VA of 2 or more Snellen lines. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the 15∆BIPT were calculated and the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was plotted.


One hundred and fifty-two patients ranging from 3.3-13.1 years of age (median 5.4 years) met the inclusion criteria. One hundred and two patients were diagnosed with amblyopia. Best-corrected median VA of the best eye was 1.0 (range 0.5-1.2) and the worst eye 0.70 (range 0.05-1.2). Sensitivity of the 15∆BIPT (based on detecting amblyopia) was 34.3%. Specificity was 88.0%. The positive predictive value was 85.4% versus a negative predictive value of 39.6%. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) was 0.65 (95% CI 0.56-0.74).


The low sensitivity, large number of false negatives and the AUC show that the 15∆BIPT can be considered a poor test for detecting amblyopia in anisometropic patients.

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