The authors relate posterior segment microanatomy from perinatal spectral domain optical coherence tomography to visual acuity, brain abnormalities, and neurodevelopment.
Thirteen infants (11 preterm and 2 term birth), imaged in the nursery with portable spectral domain optical coherence tomography, had visual acuity and sensorimotor testing at age 9 months to 15 months (grating acuity) or 4 years to 5 years (optotype), and medical records reviewed for brain magnetic resonance imaging reports and Bayley scales testing at age 18 months to 24 months.
Eight children with age-appropriate macular microanatomy without edema on perinatal spectral domain optical coherence tomography had optimal (≥20/40) or within normal limits (grating acuity) visual acuity. Five children with perinatal macular edema had suboptimal visual acuity (in 9/10 eyes) and sensorimotor deficits, magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities, or poor neurodevelopment. Macular edema persisted in 1 infant through 9-month corrected age.
Maturation of the visual system and evolution of retinal anomalies can be monitored with posterior segment spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Retinal microanatomy observed in infancy might relate to subsequent vision and other central nervous system events, but additional studies are needed to determine the range of normal microanatomy in infants and how this relates to vision and neurodevelopment.