Cortical visual impairment following birth asphyxia

Pediatr Neurol. 1986 May-Jun;2(3):133-7. doi: 10.1016/0887-8994(86)90003-2.


Visual defects are often poorly recognized in children with multiple neurologic problems due to perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. We report the clinical, radiologic, and electrodiagnostic characteristics of 20 children with cortical visual impairment secondary to birth asphyxia. Clinical diagnosis often was delayed. Ten patients recovered vision during the first two years of life. Four infants had coexisting damage to the pregeniculate visual pathway. Useful investigations included cranial computed tomography and visual evoked potential mapping. Electroencephalographic abnormalities were nonspecific. The classical definition of cortical blindness must be modified for children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / physiopathology*
  • Blindness / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia, Brain / physiopathology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Visual Cortex / physiopathology*