[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Views 116
Citations 0
Invited Commentary
November 12, 2020

The Enduring Value of Newborn Red Reflex Testing as a Screening Tool

Author Affiliations
  • 1Pediatric and Strabismus Ophthalmic Surgery, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, United Kingdom
JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online November 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2020.4853

A red reflex screening examination of the eyes of newborn infants is undertaken in most high-income countries. It aims to identify potentially blinding but treatable disorders, in particular congenital cataract, for which early diagnosis and surgery give better visual acuity outcomes. The examination involves observation of the infant and assessment of the red reflexes through undilated pupils using a direct ophthalmoscope; in some countries, usually those with fewer resources, the examination is performed with a flashlight or penlight rather than an ophthalmoscope. A flashlight examination is less sensitive than a direct ophthalmoscope test in identifying cataract.1 Testing can be performed by pediatricians, nurses, or midwives. Red reflex testing is an essential component of the physical examination of newborn infants, and it is important to know the accuracy and limitations of the test in identifying ophthalmic disease.

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words