Purpose: Flash and pattern visual-evoked potentials (VEPs) were recorded in 89 former preterm infants (< or = 1500 g birth weight), in whom retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) developed that spontaneously regressed without macular detachment (stages 2-4a).
Methods: Linear and stepwise regression analyses were performed to determine the correlations between transient pattern-reversal P1 VEP latency (n = 154 eyes) at a mean of 7.2 years (median, 6.9 years) postnatal age using a check size nominally equivalent to 20/100 (30 minutes) and the following nine parameters: three immaturity parameters (gestational age at birth, birth weight, and ROP zone at 1 month postnatal age); one postnatal insults parameter (worst ROP stage); two structural outcome parameters (macular ectopia and vessel traction); one functional outcome parameter (visual acuity); and two methodological parameters (postnatal age at VEP testing and VEP amplitude).
Results: Linear regression analyses, with P1 VEP latency as a dependent variable, identified the worst ROP stage (r = +0.42; P < 0.0001), macular ectopia (r = +0.42; P < 0.0001), visual acuity (r = -0.40; P < 0.0001), and vessel traction (r = +0.35; P < 0.0001) as significant correlates. Stepwise regression analysis demonstrated that worst ROP stage and macular ectopia accounted for 18% and 4% of the cumulative variance, respectively.
Conclusions: P1 VEP latency correlates with postnatal insults, structural outcome, and functional outcome parameters in former preterms in whom ROP developed that spontaneously regressed without macular detachment. A permanent arrest in the development of the macula and/or prolonged traction on the incompletely developed macula may alter VEPs.