Nystagmus Characteristics in Albinism: Unveiling the Link to Foveal Hypoplasia and Visual Acuity

Herman E. Talsma*, Charlotte C. Kruijt, Gerard C. de Wit, Stefan H.L. Zwerver, Maria M. van Genderen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the association among nystagmus characteristics, foveal hypoplasia, and visual acuity in patients with albinism. Methods: We studied nystagmus recordings of 50 patients with albinism. The nystagmus waveform was decomposed into two types: dominantly pendular and dominantly jerk. We correlated the nystagmus type, amplitude, frequency, and percentage of low velocity (PLOV) to Snellen visual acuity and foveal hypoplasia grades. Results: The grade of foveal hypoplasia and visual acuity showed a strong correlation (r = 0.87, P < 0.0001). Nystagmus type and PLOV had the strongest significant (P < 0.0001) correlation with visual acuity (r = 0.70 and r = -0.56, respectively) and with foveal hypoplasia (r = 0.76 and r = -0.60, respectively). Patients with pendular nystagmus type had the lowest PLOV, and the highest grade of foveal hypoplasia (P < 0.0001). Severe foveal hypoplasia (grade 4), was almost invariably associated with pendular nystagmus (86%). Conclusions: Foveal hypoplasia grade 4 is associated with pendular nystagmus, lower PLOV, and worse visual acuity. Based on these results, nystagmus recordings at a young age may contribute to predicting visual outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative ophthalmology & visual science
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • foveal hypoplasia
  • nystagmus
  • visual acuity


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