Ocular alignment and refraction in preterm children at 1 and 6 years old
Muna Al Oum,1 Simone Donati,1 Luigi Cerri,1 Massimo Agosti,2 Claudio Azzolini1
1Department of Surgical and Morphological Sciences, Section of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy; 2Neonatology Unit, Ospedale Filippo Del Ponte, Varese, Italy
Purpose: To investigate cycloplegic refraction and ocular alignment in a population of preterm children at 1 and 6 years old.
Patients and methods: We included 261 preterm infants with a birth weight ≤1,500 g and a gestational age ≤32 weeks; there were 217 preterm infants (group 1), 28 preterm infants with mild retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (group 2), and 16 preterm infants affected by severe ROP (group 3). Each patient underwent retinoscopy, ocular alignment assessment, and fundus examination at 1 and 6 years old.
Results: The prevalence of refractive errors and ocular alignment abnormalities at 1 year old in groups 2 and 3 compared to group 1 were, respectively (P<0.05): myopia 18% and 40.6% versus 6.9%; hyperopia 28.6% and 22% versus 39.2%; astigmatism 53.4% and 37.4% versus 53.9%; and strabismus 12.5% and 38% versus 5.3%. At 6 years old, they were, respectively (P<0.05): myopia 10.8% and 28.4% versus 7.4%; hyperopia 48.3% and 40.5% versus 62%; astigmatism 40.9% and 31.1% versus 30.6%; and strabismus 25% and 56.25% versus 11.5%.
Conclusion: At 6 years old, we observed increased rates of both hyperopia and strabismus in all groups compared to 1-year-old children. In preterm children with mild and severe ROP, we recorded increased rates of myopia and strabismus versus preterm children without ROP, and the risk of developing these disorders increased significantly with ROP severity. Astigmatism at 1 year old is not predictive of further development during growth. Patients born prematurely should be informed of the possible risks of ocular alterations due to refractive and ocular component changes.
Keywords: refraction strabismus, retinopathy of prematurity, vision screening, visual impairment
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