Improvements in survival rates of premature infants over the past several years have resulted in an increasing number of children with brain injury. Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is among the most common sequelae of a preterm birth and usually arises from hypoxic ischemic injury to watershed areas of the brain. The term was introduced by Whiting more than 20 years ago to replace the inappropriate term “cortical blindness” used to describe permanent visual impairments in adult patients. CVI includes all visual dysfunctions “caused by damage to, or malfunctioning of, the retrogeniculate visual pathways (optic radiations, occipital cortex, and associative visual areas) in the absence of any major ocular disease.” The existence of many different causes and symptoms makes CVI difficult to define and detect, especially when a child exhibits milder forms of visual impairment that could contribute to difficulties with self-care and academic skills during school age. It is important for pediatricians to identify and recognize CVI as a common cause of visual developmental delay in children with premature birth or pre-, peri-, or postnatal insults because recognizing CVI early is the first step toward prevention and rehabilitation.
Visual Impairment: A Common Sequela of Preterm Birth
Drs Fazzi and Galli and Ms Micheletti have disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this article. This commentary does not contain a discussion of an unapproved/investigative use of a commercial product/device.
- Views Icon Views
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Elisa Fazzi, Jessica Galli, Serena Micheletti; Visual Impairment: A Common Sequela of Preterm Birth. Neoreviews September 2012; 13 (9): e542–e550. https://doi.org/10.1542/neo.13-9-e542
Download citation file: