Purpose Universal eye screening of neonates is currently not standard of care. Early detection of abnormalities could offer prompt management and a reduction in visual morbidity. We report a pilot study using wide-field digital imaging to screen all infants at birth to explore its feasibility as a tool for universal screening. MethodsConsecutively enrolled 1021 term infants in a public hospital were imaged within 72hr of birth using the Retcam shuttle (Clarity MSI, USA). Anterior and dilated posterior segment images were obtained. Infants with abnormal images were examined clinically, and medical or surgical treatment was given when needed, at no cost to the family. ResultsOf the 1021 healthy full-term newborns, 48 babies had abnormal findings (4.7%). Retinal haemorrhages were the most common (52.1%) abnormality of which 24% were macular. A ridge' resembling retinopathy of prematurity in both eyes constituted 18.8% of all abnormalities. Nine infants (18.8% of abnormalities and 0.9% overall) had conditions meriting medical or surgical intervention and would have been missed otherwise. Seven of these nine babies (0.7%) needed medical attention with a systemic work-up for conditions such as posterior uveitis with linear perivasculitis, salt and pepper retinopathy or posterior synechia. Two of nine babies (0.2%) required surgical intervention for unilateral cataract and retinoblastoma. ConclusionUniversal eye screening of all neonates using wide-field digital imaging is possible and safe. Extrapolating our results to the national scenario, we estimate that 226950 infants requiring treatment would go undiagnosed annually. Universal infant eye imaging strategies must receive serious national consideration.
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2015|
- infant blindness
- universal imaging