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Elena Gusson, Ilaria Tomaello, Giorgio Marchini; Characteristics of a pediatric low vision population in Italy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):4487.
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To describe the causes of visual impairment (VI) among children attending the Pediatric Low Vision Service at the Verona University, Italy. This centre is a regional referral site for diagnosis and treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity.
A retrospective survey of the clinical records of all children younger than 14 years examined at the Pediatric Low Vision Service of University of Verona between October 2009 and September 2013. Data collected included age, race, sex, BCVA measured with Teller card or Snellen acuity chart, refraction with Retinomax before and after cycloplegia , colour test with Ishihara plates, complete eye examination and cause of visual impairment.
The records of 277 children were evaluated. The most common etiology for vision impairment in this population was retinopathy of prematurity (30%) followed by cerebral visual impairment (20%), retinal degeneration (15%) albinism (7%) and other minor causes (28%). The mean age of children was 7 years (6m-14y), 65% male and 35% female, mean BCVA was 0,12 (lp- 0,32). Mean SFwas - 6D . The optical aid most frequently prescribed was a telescope.
Being our Center a referral regional site for ROP, this pathology (and not CVI) represents the major cause of VI . A multi centre italian study would be advisable to better understand the epidemiology of childhood vision impairment in our country: assessment of the causes of childhood VI in fact is crucial to plan preventive and therapeutic strategies to reduce the incidence of this life-long devastating handicap.
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