Convergent strabismic amblyopia in cats Academic Article uri icon


  • Experiments were carried out to determine the effects of different types of experimental strabismus on the acuities of retinal ganglion cells. Six kittens were raised from twenty-one days of age with an esotropia surgically induced by myectomy of the lateral rectus muscle and a large portion of the superior oblique muscle. The results are compared with those, previously reported, from five other cats also made esotropic, but by tenotomy of the lateral rectus. All animals tested behaviourally were amblyopic in the strabismic eye. For square wave gratings, the visual acuities were 1.0 to 2.5 cyc/deg through the strabismic eye compared with 6.0 to 7.5 cyc/deg through the non-deviating eye. The cut-off spatial frequencies were determined for 132 brisk sustained cells from five of the myectomized strabismic cats. There was a loss of approximately 20% in cut-off spatial frequency when compared with both normal and tenotomized cats. A correlate of the physiologically observed difference between the tenotomized cats and the myectomized cats was also found in the morphology of cells in the lateral geniculate nucleus. The tenotomized cats showed no evidence of cell shrinkage in laminae receiving a projection from the amblyopic eye whereas in the myectomized cats large differences were observed in cell cross-sectional areas between laminae receiving input from the amblyopic eye and those receiving input from the non-deviating eye. Together, these findings indicate that the presence of a neural deficit in the retina of strabismic cats is associated with the actual removal of extra-ocular muscle and probably has little to do with the optical quality of images arriving at the retina.

publication date

  • September 1985