Article Text

other Versions

The temporal and nasal retinal arteriolar and venular angles in preterm infants
  1. Karen Wong1,
  2. Jeffrey Ng2,
  3. Anna Ells3,
  4. Alistair R Fielder1,
  5. Clare M Wilson4
  1. 1Department of Optometry and Visual Science, City University, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Surgery, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  4. 4Department of Visual Science, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Clare M Wilson, Division of Visual Science, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, 11–43 Bath Street, London EC1V 9EL, UK; clarewil25{at}


Aim To determine the angle between the temporal or nasal retinal vessels in preterm infants and to determine the relationship of these angles to birthweight (BW), gestational age (GA) and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) status.

Methods Colour digital images were acquired during ROP screening examinations in infants born with a range of BWs and GAs between 33 and 42 weeks postmenstrual age. Four retinal vessel angles were measured: temporal venular angle, temporal arteriolar angle (tAA), nasal venular angle and nasal arteriolar angle. Measurements were performed by Computer-Aided Image Analysis of the Retina, a validated semi-automated computer software program. The relationship of each of four angles to BW and also to GA was determined using Mann–Whitney test and Spearman's rho, respectively.

Results tAA was significantly narrower in infants with ROP and correlated positively with BW and GA. The other vessel angles, temporal venular angle, nasal arteriolar angle and nasal venular angle, showed no significant correlation with BW, GA or ROP status.

Conclusion The retinal vessel angles can be quantified in a simple repeatable manner. tAA correlated positively with BW and GA, and was significantly narrower in infants with stage 3 ROP than in those without ROP or with mild disease.

  • Retinal vessel angles
  • retinopathy of prematurity
  • birth weight
  • gestational age
  • imaging
  • telemedicine
  • child health (paediatrics)
  • embryology and development

Statistics from


  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by St Mary's Hospital Research and Development Department and University of Calgary Conjoint Health Research Ethics Board. This study followed the tenets of the declaration of Helsinki.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.