June 2017
Volume 58, Issue 8
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2017
Causes of childhood blindness and visual impairment at a low vision service in Mexico City
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Juan Alberto Lopez Ulloa
    Instituto Conde de Valenciana, Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Ana María Beauregard Escobar
    Instituto Conde de Valenciana, Mexico City, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Juan Lopez Ulloa, None; Ana Beauregard Escobar, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2017, Vol.58, 2203. doi:https://doi.org/
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      Juan Alberto Lopez Ulloa, Ana María Beauregard Escobar; Causes of childhood blindness and visual impairment at a low vision service in Mexico City. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):2203. doi: https://doi.org/.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : There are few studies regarding the charactersitics of pediatric patients suffering from blindness and low vision in Mexico. We hypothesize that the main diagnoses found in these patients match those described in other developing countries, particularly regarding retinopathy of prematurity and congenital cataract as the main culprits. We performed a retrospective chart review in order to define which are the main diagnoses among patients in a low vision center in Mexico City, as well as to describe their associations with systemic disease.

Methods : A retrospective chart review was performed on 515 patients aged 0 to 3 years who attended our Low Vision Service between January 2001 and December 2015. The following data were collected: age, gender, age of first appointment, cause of visual deficiency, affected anatomical structure, period of presentation, associated psychomotor disability, and associated systemic ailments.
A single diagnosis was chosen as the cause of visual impairment. The period during which the pathology most probably appeared was categorized as: hereditary, perinatal/neonatal, postnatal/infancy, and unknown. Psychomotor impairment and developmental delay, as well as associated systemic diseases, where recorded.

Results : Of 515 patients reviewed, 54.56% were male and 45.43% female. A total of 12.45% attended their first visit during their first 6 months of life, 24.80% did so between 7 to 12 months, 30.46% during their first year, 18.95% at 2 years of age, and 11.32% at 3 years old. The most prevalent disorders where retinopathy of prematurity (23.44%), congenital cataract (10.27%), and optic atrophy (9.88%). Peri- and neonatal factors were detemined as the cause of low vision in 166 patients; hereditary or intrauterine factors were attributed to 303 patients; postnatal/infancy were attributed to 4 patients, while trauma accounted for 9 patients. A total of 43.10% presented developmental delay or psychomotor impairment, while 35.99% presented systemic pathologies.

Conclusions : Our results support the hypothesis that retinopathy of prematurity and congenital cataracts represent the most prevalent causes of low vision in our center, in accordance to literature from other developing countries. We demonstrated that an important number of patients suffer developmental delay and systemic pathologies, making it essential for ophtalmologists to perform adequate referrals.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.


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