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

June 11, 2012

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.

Explore further: Lung function of moderately premature babies is reduced at 8-9 years but may improve with age

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

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Vitamin B3 prevents glaucoma in laboratory mice

February 16, 2017

In mice genetically predisposed to glaucoma, vitamin B3 added to drinking water is effective at preventing the disease, a research team led by Jackson Laboratory Professor and Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Simon W.M. ...

GARP2 accelerates retinal degeneration in a mouse model

February 15, 2017

In the retina of the eye, rod and cone cells turn light into electrical signals, the first step toward human vision. University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are studying rod cell proteins GARP1 and GARP2 to learn ...

Myopia cell discovered in retina

February 6, 2017

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a cell in the retina that may cause myopia when it dysfunctions. The dysfunction may be linked to the amount of time a child spends indoors and away from natural light.

0 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.