Macular function in preterm children at school age

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Macular development is a complex process that starts by mid-gestation and continues several years after birth. A preterm birth could affect this development, causing increased thickness in the central macula, but the effect of the macular function remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to investigate the macular function measured with multifocal electroretinography (mfERG), in former preterm children and compare with healthy controls. A second aim was to correlate central macular function with central macular thickness measured with optical coherent tomography (OCT), in the preterm group. Methods: Fifteen former preterm children born before 32 weeks of gestation were included in the study. MfERG results from 12 children acted as controls. Visual acuity, refraction in cycloplegia and mfERG were carried out in all children, and optical coherent tomography (OCT) was performed in the preterm children. Main outcomes were P1 amplitudes and implicit times for Rings 1–5 and “sum of groups” of the mfERG, and central macula thickness in area A1 measured with OCT. Results: The P1 amplitudes were reduced in Rings 1–5 and “Sum of groups” in the preterm children compared to controls. There were no significant correlation between P1 amplitude or implicit times in Ring 1 and central macular thickness in the preterm group. Conclusions: Macular function is reduced in former preterm children compared to children born at term. This suggests that the structural changes with a thicker central retina can have an effect on function and may be one, of probably several, explanations for visual dysfunction in preterm children at school age.


External organisations
  • Uppsala University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ophthalmology


  • Macula, Multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG), Optical coherent tomography (OCT), Preterm children
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-157
JournalDocumenta Ophthalmologica
Issue number3
Early online date2016 Nov 12
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec
Publication categoryResearch