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K. P. Feder, I. Legault, J. Faubert, A. Fournier, M. O'Connor; First and Second-Order Visual Processing in School Aged Children Born Preterm With and Without Retinopathy of Prematurity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):1844.
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Survival rates have increased dramatically for preterm infants due to medical advances with up to 50% of infants surviving at 24-25 weeks gestation (1).The presence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and ophthalmic abnormalities is 23% to 50% in preterm survivors (2). Few studies have examined the effect of ROP on visual processing in preterm survivors at school age.
The purpose of this study is to compare first and second order static and dynamic visual processing in preterm children with ROP to a preterm group who do not have ROP, and to full term controls.
Preterm birth cohorts were recruited from a regional Neonatal Follow-Up Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. A total of 52 subjects (< 1700 grams; gestational age < 36 weeks) with ROP (Stage 1, 2 or 3) were recruited for Study Group 1; 24 subjects without ROP for Study Group 2; a control group of 52 subjects comprise Study Group 3. Children diagnosed with cerebral palsy, chromosomal abnormalities, blindness, major auditory impairment or severe cognitive impairment were excluded. As there was only a total of n=11 preterm subjects with ROP Stage 3, Zone 1, this severe ROP group (MA:10.4 years) was compared to a preterm no-ROP group (n=11; MA:10.0 years), and to controls (n=11;MA:10.2 years), all matched by gender and by age. First-order (luminance defined) and second-order(texture contrast defined) static and dynamic processing was assessed(3).
Preterm subjects with ROP performed significantly worse than subjects without ROP on second-order static texture discrimination. No differences between these groups were seen in second-order dynamic motion discrimination.Conclusions:Because no significant differences between groups were seen in dynamic second- order perceptual processing, we conclude that the effect of ROP on perceptual processing appears to be operational at the retinal level in this cohort. However, further research using a larger study sample is needed.
1. El-Metwally et al.(2000). Survival and neonatal morbidity of the limits of viability in the mid 1990's: 22 to 25 weeks. Journal of Pediatrics, 137, 616-22.2. Cooke et al.(2004). Ophthalmic impairment at 7 years of age in children born very preterm. Archives of Disease in Child Fetal Neonatal Education, 89, F249.3. Allard, R. & Faubert, J. (2006). Same calculation efficiency but different internal noise for luminance and contrast-modulated stimuli detection. Journal of Vision, 6(4), 322-334, doi:10.1167/6.4.3.
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