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Ophthalmological findings in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders - a cohort study from childhood to adulthood.

Journal article
Authors Emelie Gyllencreutz
Eva Aring
Valdemar Landgren
Leif Svensson
Magnus Landgren
Marita Andersson Grönlund
Published in American journal of ophthalmology
Volume 214
Pages 14-20
ISSN 1879-1891
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Pages 14-20
Language en
Subject categories Ophthalmology


To investigate whether ophthalmological findings in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) persist into young adulthood.Prospective cohort study.Thirty children (13 female) adopted from eastern Europe to Sweden in the 1990s and diagnosed with FASD by a multidisciplinary team at the median age of 7.9 years were followed up by the same team 13-18 years later. Visual acuity (VA), refraction, stereoacuity, strabismus, ocular media and fundus were investigated.Median VA right/left eye (RE/LE) was 20/32/20/32 (0.2/0.2 logMAR) in childhood and 20/22/20/20 (0.05/0.0 logMAR) in adulthood. Median (range) refraction RE/LE was +0.88/+1.25 (-8.75 to +4.75/-9.38 to +5.25) spherical equivalent diopter (D) in childhood and -0.25/-0.25 (-12 to +2.75/-13.25 to +2.63) in adulthood. Astigmatism (≥1D) was the most common refractive error;13 (40%) and 14 (47%), respectively. Defective stereoacuity (>60") was noted in 20 (67%) in childhood and 22 (73%) in adulthood. Heterotropia occurred in 12 (40%) in childhood and 13 (43%) in adulthood. Increased tortuosity of the retinal vessels was found in eight (27%) participants in childhood versus eleven (37%) in adulthood. Optic nerve hypoplasia was recorded in three children and in four young adults.Ophthalmological findings such as refractive errors, strabismus and fundus abnormalities are frequent in children with FASD and persist into early adulthood. The facial features characteristic of FAS diminish with age, making a dysmorphology evaluation in adulthood less reliable. An ophthalmological examination is an important part of the evaluation of FASD in childhood as well as in young adulthood.

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