Abstract

Injury of photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in macular area of premature infants is very rare. A preterm infant delivered under general anesthesia. The infant was born at 28 weeks' and 4 days' gestation, with a birth weight of 1.15 kg and a treatment of oxygen inhalation after birth. According to the related protocol formulated by the Ophthalmology Branch of the Chinese Medical Association in 2014, the infant was regularly checked in our hospital. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) examination showed injuries of the photoreceptors and RPE in macular area. The fundus screening at 40 weeks' and 4 days' gestation (corrected gestational age) showed retinopathy of prematurity in bilateral eyes, with round yellow-white lesions at the macular area of right eye and sub-temporal macular area. OCT examination showed interrupted signals in the external limiting membrane (ELM), inner segment of the photoreceptors (IS)/outer segment of the photoreceptors (OS) layer, interdigitation zone (IZ), and RPE of the central fovea of macula of the right eye, with the area of defect of approximately 184 μm. Enhanced signal reflection was found under the defect area. Interrupted signals were also found in the IS/OS layer of the central fovea of macula of the left eye, with the area of defect of approximately 222 μm. Fundus fluorescence angiography (FFA) examination showed transmitted fluorescence at the macular area of the right eye and sub-temporal macular area of the left eye, suggesting retinopathy of prematurity in bilateral eyes. Several factors, such as photic damage, eye injuries, hyperpyrexia, and underlying diseases, could cause macular retinal injuries. However, the baby had not received any radiation from high energy intense light sources, and had no history of hyperpyrexia or trauma. Fundamental screening was performed 1 year and 4 months of age and no obvious change was found in the round yellow-white lesions of the eyes compared with that in earlier stages. We have contacted with the patient for the follow-up OCT and FFA examinations a month later to check the possible structural changes of the macular area. The retina of a preterm infant is underdeveloped, we speculated that the bilateral retinal injuries in this baby could be caused by various factors.

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