May 1997
Volume 38, Issue 6
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Articles  |   May 1997
Ocular fundus morphology in preterm children. Influence of gestational age, birth size, perinatal morbidity, and postnatal growth.
Author Affiliations
  • A Hellström
    Department of Clinical Neuroscience's, Goteborg University, Sweden.
  • A L Hård
    Department of Clinical Neuroscience's, Goteborg University, Sweden.
  • Y Chen
    Department of Clinical Neuroscience's, Goteborg University, Sweden.
  • A Niklasson
    Department of Clinical Neuroscience's, Goteborg University, Sweden.
  • K Albertsson-Wikland
    Department of Clinical Neuroscience's, Goteborg University, Sweden.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 1997, Vol.38, 1184-1192. doi:
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      A Hellström, A L Hård, Y Chen, A Niklasson, K Albertsson-Wikland; Ocular fundus morphology in preterm children. Influence of gestational age, birth size, perinatal morbidity, and postnatal growth.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(6):1184-1192.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To determine the influence of gestational age, birth size, perinatal morbidity, and postnatal growth on fundus morphology in preterm children using digital image analysis of fundus photographs. METHODS: Thirty-nine preterm children (mean postmenstrual gestational age, 29.1 weeks; range, 24.6 to 32) were included in the study. Thirty-nine healthy children, born at term, were used as control subjects. Fundus photographs were obtained at a mean age of 4.8 years (preterm) and 6.1 years (control subjects). RESULTS: There was no difference in optic disc, excavation, or peripapillary crescent area between the two groups. In the group of preterm children, a large optic disc size was associated with a low birth weight (rs = -0.29, P = 0.07), duration of assisted ventilation (rs = 0.43, P = 0.006), and number of blood transfusions (rs = 0.33, P = 0.04). The girls born prematurely showed a negative relation between the length of gestation and the area of the optic disc (r2 = 0.28, P = 0.009). No such relation was found in boys. The preterm children had increased tortuosity of retinal vessels (P < 0.001 and P < 0.002 for arteries and veins, respectively) and reduced number of vascular branching points (P < 0.001) compared with those of the control subjects. There were no associations between these vascular abnormalities and the perinatal and postnatal variables studied. CONCLUSIONS: No difference in optic disc morphology between preterm children and control subjects was found. However, preterm birth seems to affect the retinal vascular pattern close to the optic disc, independently of retinopathy of prematurity. Among the girls born preterm, optic disc size was negatively correlated to gestational age.

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