Ricci, D., Cesarini, L., Gallini, F., Serrao, F., Leone, D., Baranello, G., et al. (2010).

Cortical visual function in preterm infants in the first year,J Pediatr, 4 (156), 550-555. 

OBJECTIVE: To assess visual function in low-risk preterm infants at 3, 5, and 12 months corrected age to determine whether the maturation of visual function in the first year is similar to that reported in term-born infants. STUDY DESIGN: Seventy-five low-risk infants (25.0-30.9 weeks gestation) underwent ophthalmological examinations and a battery of tests (fix and follow, visual fields, acuity, attention at distance, and fixation shift) designed to assess various aspects of visual function at 3, 5, and 12 months corrected age. RESULTS: The results were comparable with normative data from term-born infants in all tests but fixation shift, suggesting that maturation of most aspects of visual function is not significantly affected by preterm birth. In contrast, >25% of preterm infants failed the fixation shift test at 3 months, with a higher percentage of failing at 5 and 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: There is a specific profile of early visual behavior in low-risk preterm infants, with a high percentage of infants failing a test that specifically assesses visual attention and provides a measure of cortical processing.