Very little is known about the prevalence, antecedents, and correlates of impaired visual fixation in former very preterm newborns.In the multicenter ELGAN study sample of 1057 infants born before the twenty-eighth week of gestation who had a developmental assessment at 2 years corrected age, we identified 73 who were unable to follow an object across the midline. We compared them to the 984 infants who could follow an object across the midline.In this sample of very preterm newborns, those who had impaired visual fixation were much more likely than those without impaired visual fixation to have been born after the shortest of gestations (odds ratio, 3.2; 99% confidence interval, 1.4-7.5) and exposed to maternal aspirin (odds ratio, 5.2; 99% confidence interval, 2.2-12). They were also more likely than their peers to have had prethreshold retinopathy of prematurity (odds ratio, 4.1; 99% confidence interval, 1.8-9.0). At age 2 years, the children with impaired fixation were more likely than others to be unable to walk (even with assistance) (odds ratio, 7.5; 99% confidence interval, 2.2-26) and have a Mental Development Index more than three standard deviations below the mean of a normative sample (odds ratio, 3.6; 99% confidence interval, 1.4-8.2).Risk factors for brain and retinal damages, such as very low gestational age, appear to be risk factors for impaired visual fixation. This inference is further supported by the co-occurrence at age 2 years of impaired visual fixation, inability to walk, and a very low Mental Development Index.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2014.03.007
View details for Web of Science ID 000338174800008
View details for PubMedID 24938138