To study the electrophysiological changes in relation to fundus morphology in moderate-to-late preterm (MLP) children with no previous history of retinopathy of prematurity.Methods
Visual acuity (VA), refraction and fundus variables measured by optical coherence tomography, pattern reversal visual evoked potentials and full-field electroretinography (ff-ERG) were obtained from 22 twelve-year-old MLP children (11 male, 11 female) and 21 full-term controls.Results
There were no significant differences between the MLP and control groups in VA, refraction or optic disc parameters. There was a trend for thinner papillary retinal nerve fibre layer in the MLP group. Visual evoked potential amplitudes (P100) were lower in the MLP group than in controls, that is, right eye p=0.0027, left eye p=0.0037. No differences in latencies were found. After Bonferroni adjustment for multiple testing, no ff-ERG differences were noted between MLP and controls. Lower gestational age was correlated with smaller light-adapted 3.0 b-wave amplitudes (p=0.0076, r=0.565).Conclusions
Our results indicate that moderate premature birth may affect visual evoked potential amplitudes without clear retinal structural changes in MLP children at 12 years of age.