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Optic disc morphology in premature infants
  1. Sabine Hackl1,
  2. Florian Zeman2,
  3. Horst Helbig1,
  4. Isabel Maria Oberacher-Velten1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Centre Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  2. 2Centre for Clinical Studies, University Medical Centre Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to I M Oberacher-Velten, Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Centre Regensburg, Franz-Josef-Strauß-Allee 11, 93053 Regensburg, Germany; isabel.velten{at}klinik.uni-regensburg.de

Abstract

Background To date, little is known about the morphology of optic discs in premature infants. However, optic disc morphology and optic nerve development are two factors that potentially influence visual function in infants. Thus we analysed the morphology of the optic disc and its correlation with gestational age and birth weight.

Methods In a retrospective trial, we assessed the widefield images (RetCam system) of 111 optic discs of 61 premature infants. We evaluated the form of the optic disc, defined by the ratio of the vertical to the horizontal diameter, the presence or absence of visible disc cupping, the cup to disc ratio and the presence or absence of a double ring (a concentric paler zone around the optic disc).

Results 110 of 111 optic discs had a vertical–oval form. We found a significant negative correlation between the form of the optic disc and birth weight (p=0.003) and gestational age (p=0.03); 75% of optic discs showed a double ring and 89% had visible disc cupping.

Conclusions In our study, premature birth was associated with the presence of a double ring. A low birth weight and low gestational age influence the form of the optic disc.

  • Optic Nerve
  • Child health (paediatrics)
  • Retina

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