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Ocular Refraction at Birth and Its Development During the First Year of Life in a Large Cohort of Babies in a Single Center in Northern Italy

  • Autori: Semeraro F.; Forbice E.; Nascimbeni G.; Cillino S.; Bonfiglio V.M.E.; Filippelli M.E.; Bartollino S.; Costagliola C.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2020
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista
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The purpose of this study was to investigate refraction at birth and during the first year of life in a large cohort of babies born in a single center in Northern Italy. We also aimed to analyze refractive errors in relation to the gestational age at birth. An observational ophthalmological assessment was performed within 24 h of birth on 12,427 newborns. Refraction was examined using streak retinoscopy after the administration of tropicamide (1%). Values in the range of between +0.50 ≤ D ≤ +4.00 were defined as physiological refraction at birth. Newborns with refraction values outside of the physiological range were followed up during the first year of life. Comparative analyses were conducted in a subgroup of babies with known gestational ages. The following distribution of refraction at birth was recorded: 88.03% of the babies had physiological refraction, 5.03% had moderate hyperopia, 2.14% had severe hyperopia, 3.4%, had emmetropia, 0.45%, had myopia, 0.94% had astigmatism, and 0.01% had anisometropia. By the end of the first year of life, we observed reductions in hyperopia and astigmatism, and stabilization of myopia. Preterm babies had a four-fold higher risk of congenital myopia and a three-fold higher risk of congenital emmetropia as compared to term babies. Refraction profiles obtained at birth changed during the first year of life, leading to a normalization of the refraction values. Gestational age at birth affected the incidence of refractive errors and amblyopia.