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March 2007

Persistent Fetal Vasculature

Arch Ophthalmol. 2007;125(3):432. doi:10.1001/archopht.125.3.432-a

In the photo essay in the March 2006 issue of the ARCHIVES, Lai et al1 demonstrate retinal changes in osteoporosis-pseudoglioma syndrome.

In their photo essay, they describe the presence of persistent fetal vasculature in a retinal fold extending off the optic disc. I am struck by the similarity of these changes to the changes that are seen in retinopathy of prematurity. Specifically, the vessels coming off the optic disc look identical to those found in retinal bands and folds that are seen with retinopathy of prematurity, and the changes (temporally) are in the same direction. Are Lai and colleagues certain that these are not retinal vessels that have been drawn into a detachment or retinal schisis? How are they so certain that these represent persistent fetal vasculature? Do they believe that the vessels seen with retinopathy of prematurity are persistent fetal vasculature?

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