The Pediatric Cataract Register (PECARE): analysis of age at detection of congenital cataract


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Abstract

ABSTRACT.Purpose:To analyse and discuss screening for the detection of congenital cataract in two Nordic countries, Denmark and Sweden.Methods:Until 2011, in Denmark, no guideline concerning screening for congenital cataract existed. Since 2011, Danish guidelines regarding eye examination include examination with a pencil light at age 5 weeks, whereas newborn red reflex examination using a handheld ophthalmoscope is routine protocol in Swedish maternity wards. Data regarding age of referral were derived from the Pediatric Cataract Register (PECARE). All children operated on before 1 year of age between January 2008 and December 2012 were included. Statistical comparison of the different screening strategies was made.Results:The number of children undergoing surgery for congenital cataract before 1 year of age was 31 (17 bilateral cases) in Denmark and 92 (38 bilateral cases) in Sweden. The proportion was 14 per 100.000 children in Denmark and 16 in Sweden (p < 0.05). There was a statistically significant difference between Denmark and Sweden in the percentage of children referred within 42 days of birth (p < 0.0001) and within 100 days (p < 0.001).Conclusion:Due to the screening procedure with red reflex examination, congenital cataract in Swedish children is detected significantly earlier than in Danish children.

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