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Development of Smooth Pursuit Eye Movements in very preterm born infants: 3. Association to perinatal risk factors
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. (Barnendokrinologisk forskning/Gustafsson)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology.
Uppsala University, Units outside the University, Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation.
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2012 (English)In: Acta Paediatrica, ISSN 0803-5253, E-ISSN 1651-2227, Vol. 101, no 2, 164-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aim:  To investigate the association between perinatal risk factors and neonatal complications and early oculo-motor development in very preterm infants.

Methods:  Perinatal risk factors were identified, and the potential association with early oculo-motor development was evaluated by measuring smooth pursuit eye movements (SP) at 2 and 4 months' corrected age (CA) in a population of very preterm infants born in Uppsala County 2004-2007 (n = 113).

Results:  Among the 15 tested factors, eight showed significant association in univariate analysis with lower levels of SP at 4 months' CA, namely administration of prenatal corticosteroids, gestational age, birthweight, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, retinopathy of prematurity, periventricular leukomalacia, intraventricular haemorrhage >grade 2, and persistent ductus arteriosus. At 2 months' CA, only retinopathy of prematurity >stage 2 was associated with lower levels of SP. When all factors significant in the univariate tests were included in multiple regressions aimed to assess each factor's independent relation to SP, periventricular leukomalacia was the only significant independent factor. When adding 2-5 of the significant factors using multiple regression analysis, the levels of SP became lower.

Conclusion:  Perinatal risk factors were associated with lower levels of SP. This could be interpreted as delayed or disturbed development of normal oculomotor ability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 101, no 2, 164-171 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-155199DOI: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02449.xISI: 000298914000021PubMedID: 21883450OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-155199DiVA: diva2:424683
Available from: 2011-06-20 Created: 2011-06-20 Last updated: 2012-03-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Delayed Development of Visuomotor Capacity in Very Preterm Infants
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Delayed Development of Visuomotor Capacity in Very Preterm Infants
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To coordinate visual perception and motor control in daily life where we are constantly surrounded by motion, we are dependent on normal visuomotor capacity. One essential prerequisite for normal visuomotor capacity is smooth pursuit eye movements (SP). Infants born very preterm (VPT = born <32 gestational weeks) are at high risk of developing disabilities in higher brain functions i.e. perception, cognition, concentration and coordination.

In this thesis visuomotor capacity was investigated in a cohort of VPT infants (n = 113) and compared to control groups of full term (FT) infants. Levels of SP were measured at 2 and 4 months’ corrected age (CA). At 8 months’ CA reaching capacity toward a moving object was evaluated as this represents an executive activity guided by vision that develops at an early age.

Lower levels of SP were found in the VPT infants compared to FT controls. The VPT boys showed higher levels of SP compared to the VPT girls.

In VPT infants without major neonatal morbidities lower levels of SP was found compared to the FT controls. No difference in total capacity of gaze tracking was found, although the VPT infants lagged the object more at 4 months’ CA and used more saccades at 2 months’ CA.

With age the VPT infants’ SP levels increased, but with a wider dispersion compared to the FT controls, and the levels of SP at 4 months’ CA corresponded to the levels of the FT infants at 2 months.

 A number of perinatal risk factors were found to be negatively associated to lower levels of SP, and this effect was more pronounced in VPT infants with multiple risk factors,.

 When evaluating the capacity to reach a moving object at 8 months’ CA, the VPT infants showed significantly more bimanual reach and more curved reaching paths to catch the object as compared to the FT control group.

In conclusion, a delayed visuomotor capacity was found in VPT infants compared to FT control infants at 2, 4 and 8 months’ CA. Some VPT infants with perinatal risk factors did not develop in levels of SP between 2 and 4 months’ CA.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2011. 58 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 681
preterm infants, visual development, neurosensory development, smooth pursuit eye movements, perinatal risk factors, reaching movements
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156518 (URN)978-91-554-8110-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-15, Rosénsalen, Ing 95/96 NBV, Kvinno-och Barndivisionen, Akademiska sjukhuset, Uppsala, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-08-25 Created: 2011-07-28 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved

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