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Domenico Lepore, Fernando Molle, Monica M. Pagliara, Lorenzo Orazi, Eliana Costanzo, Carmine Angora, Antonio Baldascino, Salvatore Luceri, Ferdinando Lafranceschina, Benedetto Falsini; ERG and Visual Acuity In Preterm Babies. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):3135.
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to verify if premature birth, with or without ROP could modify central retinal developmente and therefore affect central retinal function.
13 inborn preterms with an history of bilateral symmetric stage 2 or 3 ROP in zone 2 (mild ROP) were evaluated between 4 and 7 years of age.The mean gestational age (GA) was 28 weeks and the mean birth weight (BW) was 869gr. We also studied 11 inborn premature babies without ROP; their mean GA was 30 weeks and 1the mean BW was 1313g. ERG allows to evaluate panretinal damage obtaining a layer by layer analysis. To study the internal retina we used pattern ERG (p-ERG). To study the external retina we used focal ERG 41Hz (f-ERG). Normative values of a non premature babies population from previous studies were compared to our data.
in non prematures babies f-ERG amplitude is 2.45µV and p-ERG amplitude is 1.85µV. In our study the mean visual acuity (VA) of babies with ROP was 0,81, while the VA of the prematures without ROP was 0,99 (p=0.05). In the prematures babies the mean f-ERG amplitude was 1.11µV and the mean p-ERG amplitude was 1.25µV. In the mild ROP group the mean f-ERG amplitude was 1.16µV and that of p-ERG was 1.11µV. A significant f-ERG amplitude reduction is present in both group (-50.97% DS 25.9) if compared to the normative values from non prematures babies population: this difference does not correlates with ROP, GA, BW, or VA. The pERG amplitude loss is linearly correlated to GA but not with ROP, BW and VA. The f-ERG loss does not correlate with p-ERG loss.
Using fERG we have been able to demonstrate a damage of external retinal in preterm with or without an history of mild ROP. In previous studies we were able to show persistent choroideal alterations in preterm babies: we can therefore speculates that choroideal hypoxia could damages photoreceptor in this population. Further studies are needed to understand the mechanism of internal retina involvement.
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