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May 1966

Visual Response of Premature Infants: Use of the Optokinetic Nystagmus to Estimate Visual Development

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;75(5):631-633. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.00970050633009

This is the first report of the estimation of the visual response of premature infants when tested by optokinetic nystagmus. Heretofore, visual acuity has not been determined for infants under the weight of five pounds (2,267.96 gm). All of the infants in this report were premature and less than five pounds in weight.

In a previous study,1 Gorman and associates used the technique of induced optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) to estimate newborn visual acuity.

Reinecke and Cogan2 found that there was a close correlation between OKN and Snellen visual acuity ratings. Other investigations3-7 have discussed this subject in their determinations of visual acuity (Table 1).

Method  A total of 44 infants under care in the premature nursery at Children's Hospital of Michigan were examined. Only those infants whose temperature, pulse, and respirations were stable were chosen for examination. Infants' weights varied from 2 lbs 7 oz (1,105.63 gm)

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