Effects of Neonatal Hyperglycemia on Retinopathy of Prematurity and Visual Outcomes at 7 Years of Age: A Matched Cohort Study

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Objective: To determine whether neonatal hyperglycemia is associated with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), visual outcomes, and ocular growth at 7 years of age. Study design: Children born preterm (<30 weeks of gestational age) at a tertiary hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, who developed neonatal hyperglycemia (2 blood glucose concentrations ≥153 mg/dL [8.5 mmol/L] 4 hours apart) were matched with children who were not hyperglycemic (matching criteria: sex, gestational age, birth weight, age, socioeconomic status, and multiple birth) and assessed at 7 years of corrected age. The primary outcome, favorable overall visual outcome (visual acuity ≤0.3 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, no strabismus, stereoacuity ≤240 arcsec, not requiring spectacles) was compared between groups using generalized matching criteria-adjusted linear regression models. Results: Assessments were performed on 57 children with neonatal hyperglycemia (hyperglycemia group) and 54 matched children without hyperglycemia (control group). There were no differences in overall favorable visual outcome (OR 0.95, 95% CI 0.42-2.13, P = .90) or severe ROP incidence (OR 2.20, 95% CI 0.63-7.63, P = .21) between groups. Children with hyperglycemia had poorer binocular distance visual acuity (mean difference 0.08, 95% CI 0.03-0.14 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, P < .01), more strabismus (OR 6.22, 95% CI 1.31-29.45, P = .02), and thicker crystalline lens (mean difference 0.14, 95% CI 0.04-0.24 mm, P < .01). Maximum blood glucose concentration was greater in the ROP-treated group compared with the ROP-not treated and no ROP groups after adjusting for sex, gestational age, and birth weight z score (P = .02). Conclusions: Neonatal hyperglycemia was not associated with overall visual outcomes at 7 years of age. However, there were between-group differences for specific outcome measures relating to interocular lens growth and binocular vision. Further follow-up is required to determine implications on long-term visual outcome.




Leung, M., Black, J., Bloomfield, F. H., Gamble, G. D., Harding, J. E., Jiang, Y., … Williamson, K. A. (2020). Effects of Neonatal Hyperglycemia on Retinopathy of Prematurity and Visual Outcomes at 7 Years of Age: A Matched Cohort Study. Journal of Pediatrics, 223, 42-50.e2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.04.059

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