To propose medial rectus (MR) recession to be equally as effective as lateral rectus (LR) resection, which has heretofore been the preferred treatment for divergence paralysis esotropia (DPE).
We examined a 17-year surgical experience comparing LR resection with MR recession in adults with DPE, defined as symptomatic distance esotropia (ET) at least double the asymptomatic ET of 10 or less prism diopters (Δ) at near.
Twenty-four patients with DPE underwent surgery. Six patients underwent bilateral LR resection and 2 underwent unilateral LR resection (group L), while 13 underwent bilateral MR recession and 3 underwent unilateral MR recession, with the target angle double the distance ET (group M). One of 8 patients in group L and 15 of 16 patients in group M underwent intraoperative adjustable surgery under topical anesthesia. Mean (SD) preoperative central gaze ET measured 15.0 (7.7) Δ at distance and 4.1 (3.4) Δ at near in group L, but 10.4 (6.8) Δ at distance and 0.6 (1.7) Δ at near in group M (P = .15; distance, 0.003, near). Postoperatively, no patient in either group had symptomatic diplopia or convergence insufficiency in follow-up from 8.5 to 40 months. Twice the usual surgical dose of MR recession per prism diopter was required to achieve correction of the distance deviation in DPE as compared with that recommended for ET generally and also for LR resection in the same condition.
Recession of the MR provides binocular single vision in DPE without convergence insufficiency at near, and it is convenient for intraoperative adjustment under topical anesthesia.