Relationship between birth weight and retinal microvasculature in newborn infants



Publication Details

Kandasamy, Y., Smith, R., Wright, I. MR. & Hartley, L. (2012). Relationship between birth weight and retinal microvasculature in newborn infants. Journal of Perinatology, 32 (6), 443-447.


Objective: The purposes of this study were to determine the normal retinal microvasculature measurements in human infants who are born at term and to determine whether birth weight influences measurements of retinal microvasculature. Study Design: Retinal arteriole and venule measurements were obtained in a cohort of 24 infants who were born at term. Digital images of both the retinas were obtained using a digital retinal camera after pupillary dilation. Result: In all, 24 newborn infants born at term (12 females and 12 males) were analyzed in this study. The measured retinal arteriole diameters were from 66.8 to 147.8 μm (mean, 94.2±19.6 μm), and the venule diameters were from 102.0 to 167.8 μm (mean, 135.2±19.1 μm). Seven babies in the sample had low birth weight (LBW), while 17 babies were born with normal weight. Babies with lower birth weights had larger arteriole (113.1±17.9 μm vs 86.4±14.4 μm; P=0.0009) and venule diameters (151.7±14.9 μm vs 128.4±16.9 μm; P=0.0040). Conclusion: Retinal venules and arterioles in LBW babies are larger compared with those of normal-birth-weight babies. We postulate that the difference observed in our study was due to in utero pathophysiological changes that occurred in the cerebral circulation of growth-restricted fetuses

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