PURPOSE. To compare refractive error measurements in young, myopic children taken after cycloplegia using 1% tropicamide or 1% cyclopentolate. METHOD. 47 children meeting specific eligibility criteria (including ages 6 to 12 years at enrollment,-1.25 D and-4.50 D spherical equivalent myopia by subjective refraction in both eyes, etc.) who were not enrolled in any other research study participated in the FIND study (Factors in Nearsight Development). 37 children who were followed after one year completed two autorefraction measurements (Nidek 700A), spaced two weeks apart, after cycloplegia with 1% tropicamide or 1% cyclopentolate. 46% of participating children were randomly assigned to use tropicamide on the first visit.
RESULTS. Measurements taken in right eyes after cyclopentolate minus values taken after tropicamide were compared to the average of the values. For spherical equivalent measures, the mean (± standard deviation) difference between cyclopentolate and tropicamide values was negligible (0.04 ± 0.31 D) and not significantly different from zero (paired t-test, p = 0.71). The 95% limits of agreement were 0.71 D to-0.63 D.
CONCLUSIONS. In the majority of young, myopic children, similar autorefraction measures were obtained using either 1% tropicamide or 1% cyclopentolate. Tropicamide may be the drug of choice for school-aged myopic children since it is shorter acting and has fewer adverse effects compared to cyclopentolate.