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Wadim Bowl, Birgit Lorenz, Knut Stieger, Silke Schweinfurth, Kerstin Holve, Monika Andrassi-Darida; Fundus-Controlled Dark Adaptometry in Young Children Without and With Spontaneously Regressed Retinopathy of Prematurity. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2019;8(3):62. doi: 10.1167/tvst.8.3.62.
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We correlate dark adaptation course with foveal morphologic alterations in preterm and term-born children using a modified fundus-controlled perimeter and spectral domain–optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) imaging.
We performed fundus-controlled chromatic dark adaptometry in premature children aged 6 to 13 years without retinopathy of prematurity (no-ROP; n = 61) and with spontaneously regressed ROP (sr-ROP, n = 29), and in 11 age-matched term-born children. The degree of macular developmental arrest (MDA), defined as a disproportion of the outer nuclear layer to inner retinal layers in the fovea (ONL+/IRL-ratio), was analyzed with the DiOCTA tool in SD-OCT scans.
Children with MDA showed a flatter dark adaptation course progression with a significant rod-mediated sensitivity recovery delay (0.0113 vs. 0.0253 dB/s; P < 0.001). Preterm-born children with regular foveal morphology reached the final rod-mediated dark-adapted threshold at 12 minutes after bleach at 18.8 dB, compared to after 18.7 minutes at 17.6 dB in children with MDA (no significant difference in final threshold; P = 0.773). The cone-mediated dark adaptation progression showed a significant lower final threshold in children with MDA (6.0 vs. 8.1 dB; P = 0.004).
Changes in dark adaptation were seen in the presence of MDA observed in premature children in the no-ROP and sr-ROP groups. MDA in former premature children is associated with functional deficits of cone and rod photoreceptor visual pathways.
Morphologic alterations in the central retina of premature children, evident in SD-OCT, are associated with long-term functional deficits in the rod and cone pathways, particularly evident in the rod dark adaptation course measured at 12° eccentricity. This indicates a more widespread retinal functional pathology not limited to the fovea, but occurring together with foveal alterations best defined as MDA.
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