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M. E. Harris, R. M. Hansen, A. Moskowitz, A. B. Fulton; Long Term Effects of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) on Rod and Rod-Driven Function. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):5310.
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To investigate age-related changes in rod photoreceptor and postreceptor function in former preterms with and without a history of ROP.
Following a cross-sectional design, ERG responses to full-field stimuli were recorded from 65 subjects with a history of preterm birth. Subjects were tested as infants (age at test 2 to 8 months post term; n = 36) or at older ages (5 to 23 years; n = 29). Subjects were categorized by maximum severity of acute-phase ROP: mild ROP that regressed spontaneously (n = 38), severe ROP that required treatment (n = 10), or no ROP (n = 17). After 30 minutes of dark-adaptation, responses to a > 4 log unit range of blue flashes were recorded. Rod photoreceptor sensitivity (SROD) and saturated amplitude (RROD) were derived from the a-wave, and postreceptor sensitivity (log σ) and saturated amplitude (VMAX) were calculated from the b-wave stimulus-response function. Each ERG parameter was compared to normal for age. A 2x3 ANOVA was used to evaluate effects of age (younger, older) and ROP severity (mild, severe, no ROP) on ERG response parameters.
In both age groups, ~75% of those with a history of any ROP had sensitivity (SROD; log σ) and amplitude (RROD; VMAX) parameters below the 50th percentile of normal for age. Effects of age and ROP severity on SROD and log σ were significant (p < .01). An interaction between age and ROP severity for log σ (p < .03) indicated that in those with severe ROP, postreceptor sensitivity was relatively lower in the older than in the younger group. The effect of age on the amplitude parameters (RROD; VMAX) was consistent with a developmental increment (p < .01). In both age groups, amplitude parameters were smallest in those with severe ROP. Data from subjects in the no ROP group were similar to those in term born controls.
Mild but significant deficits in rod and rod-driven retinal activity are common in ROP. Older subjects with a history of severe ROP may be at risk for progressive compromise of neural retinal function.
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