PURPOSE. To evaluate the refractive status and optical components in school age children born prematurely and to examine the risk factors associated with refractive errors. METHODS. The participants were a cohort of children aged 7 to 9 years with gestational age less than 35 weeks or birth weight less than 1500 g. The participants' neonatal histories were reviewed; their refractive status and optical components were measured. The study results were compared with the results of age-matched children from a national survey. RESULTS. Of the 108 children studied, 48 (44%) had retinopathy of prematurity (ROP); 29 (27%) had ROP ≥ stage 3. Compared with the control subjects, the study cases showed higher prevalence of myopia (48% vs. 29%), hyperopia (23% vs. 15%), and astigmatism (73% vs. 41%). Common ocular features included shallow anterior chamber depth (ACD), thick lenses, and steep corneal curvature. The hyperopic cases had the shortest axial length (AL), whereas the myopia cases had significantly shallower ACD and greater LT. Those with a history of ROP had more prominent changes in the anterior segment. Generalized estimating equations showed that refractive errors could be predicted by a combination of optical components. CONCLUSIONS. In children born prematurely, the development of myopia is mainly influenced by anterior segment components, whereas hyperopia is mainly attributable to short AL. Astigmatism is primarily cornea-related. A combination of various optical components results in complicated refractive outcomes. The presence of ROP may be associated with significantly shorter ACD, thicker lens, and higher myopia and astigmatism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience