Hypertensive retinopathy in the newborn infant

J Pediatr. 1983 Nov;103(5):781-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(83)80485-5.


Hypertension (blood pressure greater than 70 mm Hg on three days) was noted in 1.2% of all neonatal admissions to the intensive and intermediate care nurseries. During this investigation of neonatal hypertension, a retinopathy identical to that seen in hypertensive adults was noted. Indirect ophthalmoscopy was performed in 21 neonates with elevated blood pressure. Eleven of these patients demonstrated some or all of the following abnormalities: increased ratio of venous to arterial caliber, vascular tortuosity (including arteriovenous crossing changes), superficial and deep hemorrhages, and exudates. These findings appeared to resolve after control of the hypertension. The specificity of this constellation of lesions for hypertensive retinopathy and their possible clinical significance are explained in light of what is known about hypertensive retinopathy in adults.

MeSH terms

  • Exudates and Transudates
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / complications*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Retinal Diseases / pathology
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology