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Neonatal cerebral infarction and visual function at school age
  1. E Mercuri1,2,
  2. S Anker3,
  3. A Guzzetta4,
  4. A Barnett1,3,
  5. L Haataja1,5,
  6. M Rutherford1,
  7. F Cowan1,
  8. L Dubowitz1,
  9. O Braddick3,
  10. J Atkinson3
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College School of Medicine, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, Catholic University, Rome, Italy
  3. 3Visual Development Unit, University College, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, IRCCS Stella Maris Foundation, Pisa, Italy
  5. 5Department of Paediatrics and Child Neurology, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku, Finland
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Mercuri
    Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0HN, UK;


Objective: To assess various aspects of visual function at school age in children with neonatal cerebral infarction.

Patients and methods: Sixteen children born at term, who had cerebral infarction of perinatal onset on neonatal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were assessed using a battery of visual tests. This included measures of crowding acuity (Cambridge Crowding Cards), stereopsis (TNO test), and visual fields. The results of the visual assessment were compared with the type and the extent of the lesion observed on neonatal MRI.

Results: Only six of the 16 children (28%) had some abnormalities of visual function on these tests. Visual abnormalities were more common in children with more extensive lesions involving the main branch of the middle cerebral artery and were less often associated with lesions in the territory of one of the cortical branches of the middle cerebral artery. The presence of visual abnormalities was not always associated with the involvement of optic radiations or occipital primary visual cortex. Abnormal visual fields were only found in children who also developed hemiplegia.

Conclusions: Abnormality of visual function is not common in children who had neonatal infarction and, when present, tends to be associated with hemiplegia and more extensive lesions.

  • brain
  • infarction
  • vision
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • school age
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging

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