Study examines risk factors for visual impairment among preschool children born extremely preterm

Cerebral damage and retinopathy of prematurity appear to be independently associated with visual impairment among preschool children who were born extremely premature, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Ophthalmology.

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP; an eye disease in very ) is considered the main cause of visual impairment in extremely , however cerebral damage is also a cause of visual impairment (often referred to as cerebral visual impairment) among extremely preterm children, according to background information in the study.

To examine the importance of cerebral damage and retinopathy of prematurity for visual impairment in preschool children who were born extremely premature, Carina Slidsborg, M.D., from Copenhagen University Hospital, Glostrup Hospital and Rigshospitalet, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a clinical follow-up study of a Danish national cohort of children.

The authors included 178 extremely premature children ( <28 weeks) born between February 13, 2004 and March 23, 2006, and a matched control group of 56 term-born children (gestational age 37 to <42 weeks) in the analysis.

Analysis found that global developmental deficits (an indicator for cerebral damage) and foveal sequelae (abnormalities involving the fovea, a small area of the retina responsible for sharp vision) occurred more often in extremely preterm children than in term-born children, and increased with ROP severity. The authors also found that global developmental deficits, moderate to severe foveal abnormality, and ROP treatment were independently associated with .

"In conclusion, we herein demonstrate that, in Denmark, cerebral damage and ROP sequelae are independent risk factors for VA loss among born extremely premature and that the presence of cerebral damage is the primary risk factor of the two," the authors conclude.

More information: Arch Ophthalmol. Published online June 11, 2012. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2012.1393

Related Stories

Vision loss more common in people with diabetes

date Oct 13, 2008

Visual impairment appears to be more common in people with diabetes than in those without the disease, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Recommended for you

Lowering risk of a major eye disease

date May 20, 2015

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a chronic, progressive disease, is a leading cause of blindness among people aged 65 and older. Vision impairment due to advanced AMD significantly reduces quality ...

Age-related macular degeneration, mortality linked

date May 12, 2015

(HealthDay)—Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a predictor of poor survival, especially among women aged 80 years and older, according to a study published online May 4 in the Journal of the American Ge ...

Short-sightedness becoming more common across Europe

date May 11, 2015

Myopia or short-sightedness is becoming more common across Europe, according to a new study led by King's College London. The meta-analysis of findings from 15 studies by the European Eye Epidemiology Consortium ...

Smart microchips may optimise human vision

date May 11, 2015

To date, chip-based retinal implants have only permitted a rudimentary restoration of vision. However, modifying the electrical signals emitted by the implants could change that. This is the conclusion of ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.