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S Weinacht, C Kind, J S Mönting, I Gottlob; Visual development in preterm and full-term infants: a prospective masked study.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(2):346-353.
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PURPOSE: To compare development of visual acuity and binocular vision in preterm and full-term infants in a prospective study that used testers masked to subject's gestational age. METHODS: Seventy-nine healthy full-term infants, mean gestational age 40 weeks, and 18 low-risk preterm infants, mean gestational age 33 weeks, were examined biweekly between the 44th and 54th weeks of postmenstrual age. Ocular alignment, convergence, fusion, grating acuity, and onset of optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) were assessed at each examination. RESULTS: The mean postnatal ages of onset of ocular alignment, convergence, fusion, grating acuity to 1.6 cycles per degree, and OKN from temporal to nasal and nasal to temporal were, respectively, 5, 7, 7, 11, 6, and 9 weeks for the full-term and 12, 13, 14, 18, 13, and 16 weeks for the preterm infants. The mean postmenstrual ages of onset for the corresponding parameters were 46, 48, 48, 51, 46, and 50 weeks for full-term and 46, 47, 48, 52, 47, and 49 weeks for preterm infants. The onset of all parameters was earlier in full-term infants than in preterm infants of the same postnatal age (P < or = 0.0001). However, no differences were found when the parameters were compared at postmenstrual ages. CONCLUSIONS: Additional visual experience of preterm infants does not influence development of visual acuity or binocular vision during the first months of life as measured from the time of conception.
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