Strabismus in very low birth weight and/or very preterm children: discrepancy between age of onset and start of treatment

Eur J Pediatr. 1995 Mar;154(3):225-9. doi: 10.1007/BF01954277.


Very low birth weight (VLBW; less than 1500 g) and/or very preterm children are at risk for strabismus. However, the age of onset of strabismus is still unknown. The present study reports on the frequency of strabismus in 450 5-year-old children born with a birth weight of less than 1500 g and/or with a gestational age below 32 weeks. The age at which strabismus was initially diagnosed was determined retrospectively. At 5 years of age 65 of the at-risk children (14.4%) presented with strabismus. Fifteen of them (3%) had at that age not been referred to or treated by an ophthalmologist. At 3 years of age only 28 strabismic children were being treated; 7 at-risk children (2%) had been treated for strabismus before the end of the 1st year. These results were compared to those from a second study in which eye alignment was longitudinally examined in 194 VLBW children from 6 weeks until 12 months of (corrected) age and additionally in 65 of these children at the age of 2.5 years. At a first glance, the frequency of strabismus in the longitudinal study seemed rather stable during the first 2.5 years of life, with values varying between 14% and 18%. However, only a small percentage of misalignments which were noted at 6 weeks of age persisted until 2.5 years. On the other hand, if children had a misalignment at 9 months, strabismus was still present when they were reexamined at 1 and at 2.5 years of age.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Strabismus / epidemiology
  • Strabismus / prevention & control*
  • Strabismus / therapy
  • Vision Screening