Clinical assessment, investigation, diagnosis and initial management of cerebral visual impairment: a consensus practice guide

Rachel Fiona Pilling, Louise Allen, Richard Bowman, John Ravenscroft, Kathryn J Saunders, Cathy Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) is a common condition in the UK. Patients with conditions associated with CVI are frequently seen in paediatric ophthalmology clinics offering eye care professionals an opportunity to identify children proactively. In most cases CVI occurs as part of a neurodevelopmental condition or as a feature of multiple and complex disabilities. However, CVI can also be seen in children with apparently typical development. In some cases, high contrast visual acuity is normal and in other cases severely impaired. As such, identification of CVI requires evaluation of aspects of visual performance beyond high contrast acuity and consideration that visual function of those with CVI may fluctuate. Few paediatric ophthalmologists have received formal training in CVI. The detection and diagnosis of CVI varies across the UK and patients report hugely different experiences. A diagnosis of CVI is made based on professional clinical judgement and it is recognised that individual perspectives and local practice in the specific methodologies of assessment will vary. A systematic review and survey of professionals is underway to attempt to reach agreement on diagnostic criteria. Nonetheless, established pathways and published protocols can offer guidance on how a paediatric ophthalmology service can approach assessment of the child with suspected CVI. The purpose of this paper is to present a summary of research and clinical practice methods for detecting and diagnosing CVI in a paediatric ophthalmology outpatient setting. It represents current understanding of the topic and acknowledges the evolving nature of both practice and the evidence-base. A rapid literature review was undertaken to identify articles relating to clinical investigation of children with CVI. A focus group of QTVI and subject matter experts from sight loss charities was undertaken to address areas which were not covered by the literature review. [Abstract copyright: © 2022. The Author(s).]
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalEye (London, England)
Issue number10
Early online date18 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 18 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Education
  • Eye manifestations
  • Risk factors


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