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Optic nerve hypoplasia, encephalopathy, and neurodevelopmental handicap.
  1. J P Burke,
  2. M O'Keefe and
  3. R Bowell
  1. Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology, Children's Hospital, Dublin 1, Ireland.


    Abnormalities of the central nervous system are frequently described in optic nerve hypoplasia. In a longitudinal study of 46 consecutive children (32 term, 14 preterm) with bilateral optic nerve hypoplasia 32 (69.5%) had associated neurodevelopmental handicap. Of these, 90% had structural central nervous system abnormalities on computed tomographic brain scans. Neurodevelopmental handicap occurred in 62.5% of the term and 86% of the preterm infants respectively. Term infants had a greater incidence of ventral developmental midline defects and proportionately fewer maternal and/or neonatal complications throughout pregnancy, while encephaloclastic lesions were commoner among the premature infants. An association of optic nerve hypoplasia with the twin transfusion syndrome and prenatal vascular encephalopathies is described.

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