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RetCam image analysis of optic disc morphology in premature infants and its relation to ischaemic brain injury
  1. E McLoone1,
  2. M O’Keefe1,
  3. V Donoghue2,
  4. S McLoone3,
  5. N Horgan1,
  6. B Lanigan1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin and University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin, Republic of Ireland
  3. 3Department of Electronic Engineering, NUI Maynooth, Maynooth, Co Kildare, Republic of Ireland
  1. Correspondence to: ProfessorM O’Keefe The Children’s Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin 1, Republic of Ireland; mokeefe{at}materprivate.ie

Abstract

Aims: To assess optic disc characteristics in premature infants with and without ischaemic brain injury and to evaluate the role of optic disc morphology in dating the injury.

Methods: RetCam fundal images, cranial ultrasounds and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of 109 premature infants were analysed. The study cohort was divided into subgroups depending on the presence or absence of periventricular leucomalacia (PVL) and intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH). The control group consisted of infants with normal neuroimaging at term and 2 years of age. Using the image analysis software of the RetCam, optic disc diameter (ODD), optic disc area (ODA), and optic cup area (OCA) were measured at 33–34 weeks gestational age. As serial cranial ultrasonography had been performed, it was possible to date the brain injury in those infants with periventricular white matter (PVWM) damage.

Results: Although there was a trend towards reducing ODD, ODA, and OCA with increasing severity of IVH, only the IVH 4 group differed significantly from the controls for these parameters (p = 0.002, p = 0.02, and p = 0.04, respectively). 44.4% of infants with grade 4 IVH had small discs. Only one patient had a large cup in a normal sized disc; this patient had IVH 4. In patients with PVWM damage, the median time of insult was 27 weeks in those with small discs and 28 weeks in those with normal discs. This difference was not significant (p = 0.23).

Conclusions: Premature infants with IVH 4 have an increased incidence of optic nerve hypoplasia. We found no association between disc morphology and timing of brain injury.

  • CUSS, cranial ultrasound scan
  • IVH, intraventricular haemorrhage
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
  • OCA, optic cup area
  • ODA, optic disc area
  • ODD, optic disc diameter
  • ONH, optic nerve hypoplasia
  • ORA, optic disc rim area
  • PVL, periventricular leucomalacia
  • PVWM, periventricular white matter
  • ROP, retinopathy of prematurity
  • optic disc morphology
  • ischaemic neonatal brain injury
  • RetCam image analysis
  • infants
  • CUSS, cranial ultrasound scan
  • IVH, intraventricular haemorrhage
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
  • OCA, optic cup area
  • ODA, optic disc area
  • ODD, optic disc diameter
  • ONH, optic nerve hypoplasia
  • ORA, optic disc rim area
  • PVL, periventricular leucomalacia
  • PVWM, periventricular white matter
  • ROP, retinopathy of prematurity
  • optic disc morphology
  • ischaemic neonatal brain injury
  • RetCam image analysis
  • infants

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