Reduced visual resolution acuity and cerebral white matter damage in very-low-birthweight infants

John Paul Sangiovanni, Elizabeth N. Allred, D. Luisa Mayer, Jane E. Stewart, M. Guillermo Herrera, Alan Leviton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Neonatal cerebral white matter echolucencies predict visual resolution acuity deficits in very-low-birthweight (VLBW) infants. We examined maternal sociodemographic, lifestyle, intrapartum, infant birth/perinatal, and ocular motor/refractive characteristics to determine whether they accounted for this association in infants who were tested once between postnatal age 25 and 56 weeks (corrected for gestational age at birth). Cranial ultrasound scans were read by consensus to identify echolucency in a population of VLBW infants with no known ocular abnormalities. Visual resolution acuity was measured with the Acuity Card Procedure (ACP) in 14 infants with echolucency and compared with that of 81 VLBW infants born in the same hospitals with normal ultrasound scans. In time-oriented logistic regression models, echolucency remained a consistent predictor of abnormal visual resolution acuity after adjustment for covariates in three developmental periods (pre-, peri-, and postnatal). Odds ratios ranged from 19.3 (95% confidence interval, 4.5 to 82.2; p=0.001) to 10.4 (95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 81.9; p=0.03). Reduced visual resolution acuity in VLBW infants appears to be due to cerebral white matter damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)809-815
Number of pages7
JournalDevelopmental Medicine and Child Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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