International Ophthalmology

, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 153–156 | Cite as

Nationwide study of hospitalization and surgical treatment for childhood strabismus in Italy between 1999 and 2004

  • Benedetto Ricci
  • Giovanni Coppola
  • Valentina Ricci
  • Lucia Ziccardi
Original Paper


Surgery for strabismus is in decline in countries like the United Kingdom. The aim of the present study was to determine whether this trend is also present in Italy and, also, to ascertain the number of squint operations performed in a six-year period. A retrospective review of all discharge summaries and procedures performed (diagnostic and therapeutic) for strabismus in Italian children aged 0–14 years old in the period 1999–2004 was undertaken. The total number of surgical procedures was 21,204. The number (per 10,000) was 4.24 in 1999, 4.33 in 2000, 4.31 in 2001, 4.25 in 2002, 4.23 in 2003, and 4.05 in 2004. The figure for 2004 was reduced by 4.48% with respect to 1999 and by 6.46% with respect to 2000. Temporal analysis revealed that the total number of single-muscle procedures remained stable for the first two years and then decreased in 2001 and 2002, and, above all, in 2003 and 2004. No significant change was noted in the number of procedures involving two or more muscles. It is also noteworthy that very few operations for strabismus were performed on children less than one year of age. The trend revealed by our data cannot be compared to the overall reduction in strabismus surgery that has been observed in England and Ontario, but there was a moderate decrease in the frequency of single-muscle surgical procedures among Italian children aged 0–14 years old in 2003 and 2004. Further investigation is needed to determine how this trend has evolved since 2004.


Childhood Concomitant strabismus Extraocular muscles Squint surgery 


  1. 1.
    Finlay R (2000) Number of squint operations in Britain has decreased. BMJ 320:939PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    SDO (2007) Home page at: (database)
  3. 3.
    Italian National Institute of Statistics (2007) (demographic indicators)
  4. 4.
    Graham PA (1974) Epidemiology of strabismus. Br J Ophthalmol 58:224–231PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Stidwill D (1997) Epidemiology of strabismus. Ophthalmic Physiol Opt 17:536–539PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chew E, Remaley NA, Tamboli A, Zhao J, Podgor MJ, Klebanoff M (1994) Risk factors for esotropia and exotropia. Arch Ophthalmol 112:1349–1355PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kvarnström G, Jakobsson P, Lennerstrand G (2001) Visual screening of Swedish children: an ophthalmological evaluation. Acta Ophthalmol Scand 79:240–244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ferguson JA, Goldacre MJ, Henderson J, Bron AJ (1991) Ophthalmology in the Oxford region: analysis of time trends from linked statistics. Eye 5:379–384PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Carney CV, Lysons DA, Tapley JV (1995) Is the incidence of constant esotropia in childhood reducing? Eye 9(Suppl):40–41PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    MacEwen CJ, Chakrabarti HS (2004) Why is squint surgery in children in decline? Br J Ophthalmol 88:509–511PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Arora A, Williams B, Arora AK, McNamara R, Yates J, Fielder A (2005) Decreasing strabismus surgery. Br J Ophthalmol 89:409–412PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benedetto Ricci
    • 1
  • Giovanni Coppola
    • 1
  • Valentina Ricci
    • 2
  • Lucia Ziccardi
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, Columbus ClinicCatholic UniversityRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology, Second Faculty of MedicineUniversity “La Sapienza”RomeItaly
  3. 3.Bietti Foundation for OphthalmologyRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations