Ophthalmic examinations have been performed on 52 expremature infants who had reached their late teens. These patients all weighed 1500 g or less at birth, and were born during a period of transition from liberal to restricted oxygen therapy for premature infants.
Fourteen patients had some degree of retrolental fibrosis. In 4 cases there was complete, bilateral, destructive retrolental fibroplasia (RLF) with microphthalmos; and in 3 cases in which RLF was complete unilaterally, the other eye showed retinal scarring with traction of the disc in 2 patients and extreme tortuosity of the retinal arteries in the third. There were 7 patients who showed bilateral retinal scarring with distortion of the retinal architecture, 35 patients showed tortuosity of the retinal arteries, and 3 patients had normal retinas. It seems that tortuosity of the retinal arteries represents a persistence of the proliferative stage of RLF. In the present study the condition carried no ophthalmic morbidity.
Myopia was associated with retrolental scarring, but not with tortuosity of the retinal arteries. Corneal curvature was normal in these patients, excluding this as the cause of the myopia of RLF.
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18-year Follow-up on Eyes of Premature Infants
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