Stephen P. Christiansen, MD


Telephone: 617-414-2020
Fax: 617-414-2929

B.S., Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
M.D., The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI



Research Interests:

1. Pharmacological treatment of strabismus – Strabismus, or misalignment of the eyes, has been treated surgically for centuries. Even in the past 60 years, advances in strabismus treatment have been incremental at best. Unfortunately, surgical outcomes tend to be short-lived, and reoperation is frequently needed. A significant consequence of traditional surgical treatment is the disruption of the normal biomechanical construct – that is, the normal anatomy of the terminal extraocular muscle which moves the eye and the normal relationship of the muscle and the globe itself. In order to minimize these effects, we are investigating new toxins and growth factors that can alter muscle strength without altering the relationship of the muscle and the globe. Preliminary studies show great promise, and next steps include taking these agents to the bedside.

2. The response of extraocular muscle to changes in innervation and surgery

3. Retinopathy of Prematurity

4. Multi-Center clinical studies of strabismus treatment

Recent publications (2008-2010):

1) Anderson BC, Christiansen SP, McLoon LK: Myogenic growth factors can decrease extraocular muscle force generation: A potential biological approach to the treatment of strabismus. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 2008;49:221-229.

2) Levi M, Kodsi SR, Rubin SE, Lyons C, Golden R, Olitsky SE, Christiansen S, Alcorn DM: Ocular involvement as the initial manifestation of Wegener’s granulomatosis in children. J AAPOS, 2008;12:94-96.

3) Christiansen SP, Anderson BC, McLoon LK: Botulinum toxin pretreatment augments the weakening effect of injection with ricin-mAb35 in rabbit extraocular muscle. J AAPOS, 2008; 12:122-127.

4) Christiansen SP, Gess AJ, Fletcher GA: A new conformer design to expand the horizontal lid fissure in severely microphthalmic eyes. J AAPOS, 2008; 12:212-214.

5) Gess A, Christiansen SP, Pond D, Peters C: Predictive factors for vision loss after hematopoietic cell transplant for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. J AAPOS, 2008;12:273-276.

6) Miyake N, Chilton J, Psatha M, Cheng L, Andrews C, Chan W-M, Law K, Crosier M, Lindsay S, Cheung M, Allen J, Gutowski NJ, Ellard S, Young E, Iannaccone A, Appukuttan B, Stout JT, Christiansen S, Ciccarelli ML, Baldi A, Campioni M, Zenteno JC, Davenport D, Mariani LE, Sahin M, Guthrie S, Engle EC: Human CHN1 mutations hyperactivate α2-chimaerin and cause Duane’s retraction syndrome. Science, 2008; 321:839-843.

7) Christiansen SP, Chandler DL, Holmes JM, Additional writing committee members (alphabetical): Arnold RW, Birch E, Dagi LR, Hoover DL, Klimek DL, Melia BM, Paysse E, Repka MX, Suh DW, Ticho BH, Wallace DK, Weaver RG for the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group: Instability of ocular alignment in childhood esotropia. Ophthalmology, 2008;115:2266-2274.

8) Holmes JM, Chandler DL, Christiansen SP, Additional writing committee members (alphabetical): Birch EE, Bothun E, Laby D, Melia BM, Repka MX, Silbert DI, Zeto VL for the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group: Inter-observer reliability of the prism and alternate cover test in children with esotropia. Arch Ophthalmol, 2009;127:59-65.

9) Johnson MS, Christiansen SP, Rath PP, Watanabe TM, Merten G, Bothun ED, Anderson JS: Anterior ciliary circulation from the horizontal rectus muscles. Strabismus, 2009;17:1,45-48.

10) Christiansen SP: Strabismus surgery: What’s next? J AAPOS, 2009; 13:227-228.

11) Naharajakumar K, Christiansen SP: A veil over the windows: extensive persistent pupillary membranes. Arch Dis Child, 2009;94:614.

12) Christiansen SP, Chandler DL, Holmes JM, Additional writing committee members (alphabetical): Bacal DA, Birch E, Donahue SP, Mohney BG, Repka MX, Verderber LC for the Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group: The Relationship Between Preoperative Alignment Stability and Postoperative Motor Outcomes in Children with Esotropia. J AAPOS, 2009;13:335-338.

13) Christiansen SP, Dobson V, Quinn GE, Good WV, Tung B, Hardy RJ, Baker JD, Hoffman RO, Reynolds JD, Rychwalski PJ, Shapiro MJ, for the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Cooperative Group: Progression of type 2 to type 1 ROP in the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Study. Arch Ophthalmol, 2010;128:461-465.

14) Bothun ED, Guo Y, Christiansen SP, Summers CG, Anderson JS, Wright MM, Kramarevsky NY, Lawrence MG: Outcome of angle surgery in children with aphakic glaucoma. J AAPOS, 2010;14:235-239.

15) Christiansen SP, Antunes-Foschini RS, McLoon LK: Effect of recession versus tenotomy surgery without recession in adult rabbit extraocular muscle. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci, 2010;51:5646-5656.

16) Melia M, Holmes JM, Chandler DL, Christiansen SP: Classifying stability of misalignment in children with esotropia using simulations. Arch Ophthalmol, 2010;128:1555-1560.

17) Telander DG, Egeland BM, Christiansen SP: Horizontal misalignment in patients with unilateral superior oblique palsy. J Ped Ophthalmol Strab, 2010, In Press.

18) Bothun ED, Kao T, Guo Y, Christiansen SP: Bilateral optic nerve drusen and gliomas in Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome. J AAPOS, 2010; In Press.

Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine