Ophthalmologic issues common in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
Refractive errors, strabismus, and fundus abnormalities are common in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and persist into early adulthood, according to a study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.
In this prospective cohort study, 33 children diagnosed with FASD were followed for 13-18 years by a multidisciplinary team.
Median visual acuity (VA) and median (range) refraction OD/OS was 20/32/20/32 (0.2/0.2 logMAR) in childhood and 20/22/20/20 (0.05/0.0 logMAR) in adulthood and +0.88/+1.25 (-8.75 to +4.75/−9.38 to +5.25) spherical equivalent diopter (D) in childhood and −0.25/−0.25 (−12 to +2.75/−13.25 to +2.63) in adulthood, respectively.
The most common refractive error was astigmatism (≥1 D). Stereoacuity occurred in 67% of participants when they were children and 73% of participants in adulthood. Heterotropia increased from 40% in childhood to 43% in adulthood.
The authors concluded that, “The facial features characteristic of FAS diminish with age, making a dysmorphology evaluation in adulthood less reliable. An ophthalmologic examination is an important part of the evaluation of FASD in childhood as well as in young adulthood.
Gyllencreutz E, Aring E, Landgren V, et al. Ophthalmologic findings in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders – A cohort study from childhood to adulthood. Am J Ophthalmol. 2020;DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2019.12.016