Pediatric Ophthalmology

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Gjerde H, Mantagos IS. Charting the Globe: How Technologies Have Affected Our Understanding of Retinal Findings in Abusive Head Trauma/Shaken Baby Syndrome. Semin Ophthalmol 2021;36(4):205-209.Abstract
Purpose: Ocular findings such as retinal hemorrhages are common in abusive head trauma (AHT). Binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy has been the standard for assessing the eyes of children who are victims of AHT. However, technological advances have changed our understanding of retinal findings in AHT.Methods: Literature review on AHT - retinal findings, imaging technologies, models of representation, and telemedicine applications.Results: Many studies suggest vitreoretinal traction from repetitive acceleration-deceleration shearing forces during shaking plays an important role in the development of retinal findings in AHT. This is further supported by different imaging modalities [optical coherence tomography (OCT); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); fluorescein angiography (FA)] and models of representation (animal and mechanical models; finite element analysis).Conclusion: Emerging technologies have augmented our diagnostic abilities, enhanced our understanding regarding the pathophysiology of retinal findings, and strengthened the link between vitreoretinal traction and ocular pathology in AHT. Telemedicine is also starting to play an important role in AHT.
Godfrey D, Torres A, Heidary G, Zahoor H, Lee A, Berry G, Engle E. A 7-year old female with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita, Duane retraction syndrome, and Marcus Gunn phenomenon due to a ZC4H2 gene mutation: a clinical presentation of the Wieacker-Wolff syndrome. Ophthalmic Genet 2021;:1-3.Abstract
Background: Duane retraction syndrome and arthrogryposis multiplex congenita have an incidence of approximately 1:1500-1:3000 live births. However, the association of these two entities with a Marcus-Gunn might be a rare and, until now, under-recognized clinical presentation of the Wieacker-Wolff Syndrome.Patient and methods: We report a 7-year-old female with dysmorphic features, global developmental delay, arthrogryposis multiplex congenita (AMC), Duane retraction syndrome (DRS), and unilateral Marcus Gunn jaw winking.Results: Whole Exome Sequencing showed a de novo premature stop codon in ZC4H2. Extensive genetic and metabolic work was negative otherwise and Brain MRI showed delayed non-specific myelination abnormalities. She continues to have significant delays but does not have regression, seizures or other neurological complications. She has required a multidisciplinary approach for the management of her multiple contractures.Conclusion: This case confirms ZC4H2 as a cause of syndromic DRS and extends the ZC4H2 phenotype to include Marcus Gunn jaw winking.
Gong Y, Fu Z, Liegl R, Chen J, Hellström A, Smith LEH. ω-3 and ω-6 long-chain PUFAs and their enzymatic metabolites in neovascular eye diseases. Am J Clin Nutr 2017;106(1):16-26.Abstract
Neovascular eye diseases, including retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration, threaten the visual health of children and adults. Current treatment options, including anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy and laser retinal photocoagulation, have limitations and are associated with adverse effects; therefore, the identification of additional therapies is highly desirable. Both clinical and experimental studies show that dietary ω-3 (n-3) long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs) reduce retinal and choroidal angiogenesis. The ω-3 LC-PUFA metabolites from 2 groups of enzymes, cyclooxygenases and lipoxygenases, inhibit [and the ω-6 (n-6) LC-PUFA metabolites promote] inflammation and angiogenesis. However, both of the ω-3 and the ω-6 lipid products of cytochrome P450 oxidase 2C promote neovascularization in both the retina and choroid, which suggests that inhibition of this pathway might be beneficial. This review summarizes our current understanding of the roles of ω-3 and ω-6 LC-PUFAs and their enzymatic metabolites in neovascular eye diseases.
Gradstein L, Hansen RM, Cox GF, Altschwager P, Fulton AB. Progressive retinal degeneration in a girl with Knobloch syndrome who presented with signs of ocular albinism. Doc Ophthalmol 2017;134(2):135-140.Abstract

PURPOSE: We report for the first time electroretinographic (ERG) evidence of progressive retinal abnormalities in a girl who presented in infancy with ocular features of albinism and gradually developed choroidal sclerosis and patchy retinal atrophy leading to a diagnosis of Knobloch syndrome (KS, OMIM 267750, COL18A1). METHODS: At age 2 months, nystagmus and esotropia prompted ophthalmic evaluation. The appearance of choroidal sclerosis and atrophic retinal patches led to further evaluation at age 8 years. Genetics consultation was obtained in infancy and again at age 8 years as retinal findings evolved. Full field ERG responses in both scotopic and photopic conditions were recorded at both ages and compared to those in healthy control subjects. RESULTS: At age 2 months ERG response parameters were within normal limits for age and tyrosinase (TYR) gene sequencing revealed one novel mutation, p.S466F, and the temperature-sensitive polymorphism, p.R402Q, suggesting the diagnosis of oculocutaneous albinism type 1 (OCA1). At age 8 years, there was significant attenuation of both scotopic and photopic ERG responses. Genetic re-analysis led to the identification of a homozygous mutation, c.3213dupC, in the COL18A1 gene, thus confirming the diagnosis of Knobloch syndrome. CONCLUSIONS: Our patient with Knobloch syndrome developed abnormal ERG responses similar to those found in col18a1 knockout mice. Thus, we have documented progressive attenuation of the scotopic and photopic responses in KS.

for the Group WCPEDI, Pineles SL, Repka MX, Liu GT, Waldman AT, Borchert MS, Khanna S, Heidary G, Graves JS, Shah VS, Kupersmith MJ, Kraker RT, Wallace DK, Cotter SA, Holmes JM. Assessment of Pediatric Optic Neuritis Visual Acuity Outcomes at 6 Months. JAMA Ophthalmol 2020;Abstract
Importance: Optic neuritis (ON) in children is uncommon. There are limited prospective data for visual acuity (VA) outcomes, associated diseases, and neuroimaging findings. Prospective data from a large sample would be useful for counseling families on treatment decisions and prognosis. Objective: To prospectively study children with a first episode of ON, describe VA after 6 months, and ascertain the network's (Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group and Neuro-Ophthalmology Research Disease Investigator Consortium) ability to enroll pediatric patients with ON prospectively. Design, Setting, and Participants: This nonrandomized cohort study was conducted from September 20, 2016, to July 20, 2018, at 23 sites in the United States and Canada in pediatric ophthalmology or neuro-ophthalmology clinics. A total of 44 children (aged 3-15 years) presented with a first episode of ON (visual loss, pain on eye movements, or both) within 2 weeks of symptom onset and at least 1 of the following in the affected eye: a distance high-contrast VA (HCVA) deficit of at least 0.2 logMAR below age-based norms, diminished color vision, abnormal visual field, or optic disc swelling. Exclusion criteria included preexisting ocular abnormalities or a previous episode of ON. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were monocular HCVA and low-contrast VA at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were neuroimaging, associated diagnoses, and antibodies for neuromyelitis optica and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein. Results: A total of 44 children (mean age [SD], 10.2 [3.5] years; 26 boys [59%]; 23 White individuals [52%]; 54 eyes) were enrolled in the study. Sixteen patients (36%) had bilateral ON. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed white matter lesions in 23 children (52%). Of these children, 8 had myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-associated demyelination (18%), 7 had acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (16%), 5 had multiple sclerosis (11%), and 3 had neuromyelitis optica (7%). The baseline mean HCVA was 0.95 logMAR (20/200), which improved by a mean 0.76 logMAR (95% CI, 0.54-0.99; range, -0.70 to 1.80) to 0.12 logMAR (20/25) at 6 months. The baseline mean distance low-contrast VA was 1.49 logMAR (20/640) and improved by a mean 0.72 logMAR (95% CI, 0.54-0.89; range, -0.20 to 1.50) to 0.73 logMAR (20/100) at 6 months. Baseline HCVA was worse in younger participants (aged <10 years) with associated neurologic autoimmune diagnoses, white matter lesions, and in those of non-White race and non-Hispanic ethnicity. The data did not suggest a statistically significant association between baseline factors and improvement in HCVA. Conclusions and Relevance: The study network did not reach its targeted enrollment of 100 pediatric patients with ON over 2 years. This indicates that future treatment trials may need to use different inclusion criteria or plan a longer enrollment period to account for the rarity of the disease. Despite poor VA at presentation, most children had marked improvement by 6 months. Associated neurologic autoimmune diagnoses were common. These findings can be used to counsel families about the disease.
Grundy SJ, Tshering L, Wanjala SW, Diamond MB, Audi MS, Prasad S, Shinohara RT, Rogo D, Wangmo D, Wangdi U, Aarayang A, Tshering T, Burke TF, Mateen FJ. Retinal Parameters as Compared with Head Circumference, Height, Weight, and Body Mass Index in Children in Kenya and Bhutan. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2018;99(2):482-488.Abstract
The retina shares embryological derivation with the brain and may provide a new measurement of overall growth status, especially useful in resource-limited settings. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) provides detailed quantification of retinal structures. We enrolled community-dwelling children ages 3-11 years old in Siaya, Kenya and Thimphu, Bhutan in 2016. We measured head circumference (age < 5 years only), height, and weight, and standardized these by age and gender. Research staff performed OCT (; Optovue, Inc., Fremont, CA), measuring the peripapillary retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and macular ganglion cell complex (GCC) thicknesses. A neuro-ophthalmologist performed quality control for centration, motion artifact, and algorithm-derived quality scores. Generalized estimating equations were used to determine the relationship between anthropometric and retinal measurements. Two hundred and fifty-eight children (139 females, average age 6.4 years) successfully completed at least one retinal scan, totaling 1,048 scans. Nine hundred and twenty-two scans (88.0%) were deemed usable. Fifty-three of the 258 children (20.5%) were able to complete all six scans. Kenyan children had a thinner average GCC ( < 0.001) than Bhutanese children after adjustment for age and gender, but not RNFL ( = 0.70). In models adjusting for age, gender, and study location, none of standardized height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) were statistically significantly associated with RNFL or GCC. We determined that OCT is feasible in some children in resource-limited settings, particularly those > 4 years old, using the device. We found no evidence for GCC or RNFL as a proxy for height-, weight-, or BMI-for-age. The variation in mean GCC thickness in Asian versus African children warrants further investigation.
Guerriero RM, Patel AA, Walsh B, Baumer FM, Shah AS, Peters JM, Rodan LH, Agrawal PB, Pearl PL, Takeoka M. Systemic Manifestations in Pyridox(am)ine 5'-Phosphate Oxidase Deficiency. Pediatr Neurol 2017;76:47-53.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: Pyridoxine is converted to its biologically active form pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P) by the enzyme pyridox(am)ine 5'-phosphate oxidase and serves as a cofactor in nearly 200 reactions in the central nervous system. Pyridox(am)ine 5'-phosphate oxidase deficiency leads to P5P dependent epilepsy, typically a neonatal- or infantile-onset epileptic encephalopathy treatable with P5P or in some cases, pyridoxine. Following identification of retinopathy in a patient with pyridox(am)ine 5'-phosphate oxidase deficiency that was reversible with P5P therapy, we describe the systemic manifestations of pyridox(am)ine 5'-phosphate oxidase deficiency. METHODS: A series of six patients with homozygous mutations of PNPO, the gene coding pyridox(am)ine 5'-phosphate oxidase, were evaluated in our center over the course of two years for phenotyping of neurological and systemic manifestations. RESULTS: Five of six were born prematurely, three had anemia and failure to thrive, and two had elevated alkaline phosphatase. A movement disorder was observed in two children, and a reversible retinopathy was observed in the most severely affected infant. All patients had neonatal-onset epilepsy and were on a continuum of developmental delay to profound encephalopathy. Electroencephalographic features included background slowing and disorganization, absent sleep features, and multifocal and generalized epileptiform discharges. All the affected probands carried a homozygous PNPO mutation (c.674 G>T, c.686 G>A and c.352G>A). CONCLUSION: In addition to the well-described epileptic encephalopathy, pyridox(am)ine 5'-phosphate oxidase deficiency causes a range of neurological and systemic manifestations. A movement disorder, developmental delay, and encephalopathy, as well as retinopathy, anemia, and failure to thrive add to the broadening clinical spectrum of P5P dependent epilepsy.
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Hamad AE, Moinuddin O, Blair MP, Schechet SA, Shapiro MJ, Quiram PA, Mammo DA, Berrocal AM, Prakhunhungsit S, Cernichiaro-Espinosa LA, Mukai S, Yonekawa Y, Ung C, Holz ER, Harper AC, Young RC, Besirli CG, Nagiel A, Lee TC, Gupta MP, Walsh MK, Khawly JA, Campbell PJ, Kychenthal A, Nudleman ED, Robinson JE, Hartnett ME, Calvo CM, Chang EY. Late-Onset Retinal Findings and Complications in Untreated Retinopathy of Prematurity. Ophthalmol Retina 2020;4(6):602-612.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate late retinal findings and complications of eyes with a history of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) that did not meet treatment criteria and did not receive treatment during infancy. DESIGN: Retrospective, nonconsecutive, noncomparative, multicenter case series. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred sixty-three eyes of 186 patients. METHODS: Data were requested from multiple providers on premature patients with a history of ROP and no treatment during infancy who demonstrated late retinal findings or complications and included age, gender, gestational age and weight, zone and stage at infancy, visual acuity, current retina vascularization status, vitreous character, presence of peripheral retinal findings such as lattice retinal tears and detachments (RDs), retinoschisis, and fluorescein findings. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Rate of RDs and factors conferring a higher risk of RDs. RESULTS: The average age was 34.5 years (range, 7-76 years), average gestational age was 26.6 weeks (range, 23-34 weeks), and average birth weight was 875 g (range, 425-1590 g). Findings included lattice in 196 eyes (54.0%), atrophic holes in 126 eyes (34.7%), retinal tears in 111 eyes (30.6%), RDs in 140 eyes (38.6 %), tractional retinoschisis in 44 eyes (11.9%), and visible vitreous condensation ridge-like interface in 112 eyes (30.5%). Fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed in 113 eyes, of which 59 eyes (52.2%) showed leakage and 16 eyes (14.2%) showed neovascularization. Incomplete vascularization posterior to zone 3 was common (71.6% of eyes). Retinal detachments were more likely in patients with a gestational age of 29 weeks or less (P < 0.05) and in eyes with furthest vascularization to posterior zone 2 eyes compared with zone 3 eyes (P = 0.009). CONCLUSIONS: Eyes with ROP not meeting the treatment threshold during infancy showed various late retinal findings and complications, of which RDs were the most concerning. Complications were seen in all age groups, including patients born after the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Study. Contributing factors to RDs included atrophic holes within peripheral avascular retina, visible vitreous condensation ridge-like interface with residual traction, and premature vitreous syneresis. We recommend regular examinations and consideration of ultra-widefield FA examinations. Prospective studies are needed to explore the frequency of complications and benefit of prophylactic treatment and if eyes treated with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy are at risk of similar findings and complications.
Hansen RM, Tavormina JL, Moskowitz A, Fulton AB. Effect of retinopathy of prematurity on scotopic spatial summation. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014;55(5):3311-3.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate scotopic retinal organization in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) through a study of spatial summation. METHODS: Thresholds for a range of stimulus diameters (0.4°-10°) were measured using a two alternative, spatial, forced choice psychophysical procedure. The critical diameter (DCRIT) for complete summation was estimated in subjects with a history of severe ROP (N = 7) and mild ROP (N = 17). Subjects who were born preterm and never had ROP (N = 16) and term-born subjects (N = 7) were also tested. The subjects ranged in age from 9 to 17 (median 13.5) years. RESULTS: Critical diameter for complete spatial summation was significantly larger in ROP subjects than in subjects who never had ROP and in term-born control subjects. Critical diameter varied significantly with severity of ROP. CONCLUSIONS: The larger DCRIT values in ROP are consistent with altered organization of the post receptor retina. This may offer the ROP retina a strategy for achieving noise reduction and good dark-adapted visual sensitivity.
Hansen RM, Moskowitz A, Akula JD, Fulton AB. The neural retina in retinopathy of prematurity. Prog Retin Eye Res 2017;56:32-57.Abstract

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a neurovascular disease that affects prematurely born infants and is known to have significant long term effects on vision. We conducted the studies described herein not only to learn more about vision but also about the pathogenesis of ROP. The coincidence of ROP onset and rapid developmental elongation of the rod photoreceptor outer segments motivated us to consider the role of the rods in this disease. We used noninvasive electroretinographic (ERG), psychophysical, and retinal imaging procedures to study the function and structure of the neurosensory retina. Rod photoreceptor and post-receptor responses are significantly altered years after the preterm days during which ROP is an active disease. The alterations include persistent rod dysfunction, and evidence of compensatory remodeling of the post-receptor retina is found in ERG responses to full-field stimuli and in psychophysical thresholds that probe small retinal regions. In the central retina, both Mild and Severe ROP delay maturation of parafoveal scotopic thresholds and are associated with attenuation of cone mediated multifocal ERG responses, significant thickening of post-receptor retinal laminae, and dysmorphic cone photoreceptors. These results have implications for vision and control of eye growth and refractive development and suggest future research directions. These results also lead to a proposal for noninvasive management using light that may add to the currently invasive therapeutic armamentarium against ROP.

Hård A-L, Nilsson AK, Lund A-M, Hansen-Pupp I, Smith LEH, Hellström A. Review shows that donor milk does not promote the growth and development of preterm infants as well as maternal milk. Acta Paediatr 2019;108(6):998-1007.Abstract
AIM: This nonsystematic review examined differences in the composition of raw maternal breastmilk and pasteurised donor milk and possible health effects on preterm infants. METHODS: We searched PubMed up to July 2018 for studies published in English that focused on four comparisons as follows: raw maternal milk versus donor milk, human milk before and after Holder pasteurisation, milk from mothers who delivered preterm and at term and milk collected during early and late lactation. We also searched for possible effects of the milk components, as well as the effects of maternal and donor milk on preterm infants' health. RESULTS: Raw maternal milk contained factors involved in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory defence, gut microbiome establishment and the maturation of immune defences, food tolerability and metabolism. Many of these factors were reduced or abolished in processed donor milk. Both maternal milk and donor milk have been associated with a reduced incidence of necrotising enterocolitis. High-dose feeding with maternal milk during the neonatal period reportedly reduced the risk of other morbidities and promoted growth and neurodevelopment. CONCLUSION: Many of the components in raw maternal breastmilk were lacking in pasteurised donor milk, which was inferior in promoting the growth and development of very preterm infants.
Heidary G. Neuro-Ophthalmic Manifestations of Pediatric Neurodegenerative Disease. J Neuroophthalmol 2017;37 Suppl 1:S4-S13.Abstract
The topic of pediatric neurodegenerative disease is broad and ever expanding. Children who suffer from neurodegenerative disease often have concomitant visual dysfunction. Neuro-ophthalmologists may become involved in clinical care to identify corroborating eye findings when a specific condition is suspected, to monitor for disease progression, and in some cases, to assess treatment efficacy. Ophthalmic findings also may be the harbinger of a neurodegenerative process so a keen awareness of the possible manifestations of these conditions is important. The purpose of this review is to highlight common examples of the neuro-ophthalmic manifestations of pediatric neurodegenerative disease using a case-based approach in an effort to provide a framework for approaching these complex patients.
Hellgren G, Löfqvist C, Hård A-L, Hansen-Pupp I, Gram M, Ley D, Smith LE, Hellström A. Serum concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor in relation to retinopathy of prematurity. Pediatr Res 2015;Abstract

BACKGROUND: The role of VEGF in the pathogenesis of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) has been clearly established. However, little is known about temporal changes in circulating VEGF concentrations in the preterm infant. The objective was to determine the longitudinal serum concentrations of VEGF in relation to ROP. METHODS: This study included 52 infants born at <31 weeks gestational age (non-ROP n=33, non-proliferative ROP n=10, treated for ROP n=9). VEGF concentrations were analyzed in blood samples collected at birth, at 3 days postnatal age, and then weekly until at least a gestational age of 35 weeks. RESULTS: VEGF concentrations at birth did not differ between groups, independent of later ROP status. In contrast, VEGF serum concentrations were significantly higher at first detection of ROP in infants who were later treated for ROP compared to infants without ROP. At the time of laser therapy, serum VEGF concentrations did not differ between groups. CONCLUSION: Circulatory concentrations of VEGF, in infants who later developed severe ROP, were elevated at the time when ROP first was detected but not at the time when current treatment most often occurred. This supports the need for further studies of circulating VEGF in relation to the timing of ROP treatment.Pediatric Research (2015); doi:10.1038/pr.2015.181.

Hellgren G, Lundgren P, Pivodic A, Löfqvist C, Nilsson AK, Ley D, Sävman K, Smith LE, Hellström A. Decreased Platelet Counts and Serum Levels of VEGF-A, PDGF-BB, and BDNF in Extremely Preterm Infants Developing Severe ROP. Neonatology 2021;:1-10.Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Thrombocytopenia has been identified as an independent risk factor for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), although underlying mechanisms are unknown. In this study, the association of platelet count and serum platelet-derived factors with ROP was investigated. METHODS: Data for 78 infants born at gestational age (GA) <28 weeks were included. Infants were classified as having no/mild ROP or severe ROP. Serum levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A, platelet-derived growth factor BB, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor were measured in serum samples collected from birth until postmenstrual age (PMA) 40 weeks. Platelet counts were obtained from samples taken for clinical indication. RESULTS: Postnatal platelet counts and serum concentrations of the 3 growth factors followed the same postnatal pattern, with lower levels in infants developing severe ROP at PMA 32 and 36 weeks (p < 0.05-0.001). With adjustment for GA, low platelet counts and low serum concentrations of all 3 factors at PMA 32 weeks were significantly associated with severe ROP. Serum concentrations of all 3 factors also strongly correlated with platelet count (p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: In this article, we show that ROP, platelet counts, and specific pro-angiogenic factors correlate. These data suggest that platelet-released factors might be involved in the regulation of retinal and systemic angiogenesis after extremely preterm birth. Further investigations are needed.
Hellström A, Ley D, Hansen-Pupp I, Hallberg B, Ramenghi LA, Löfqvist C, Smith LEH, Hård A-L. Role of Insulinlike Growth Factor 1 in Fetal Development and in the Early Postnatal Life of Premature Infants. Am J Perinatol 2016;33(11):1067-71.Abstract

The neonatal period of very preterm infants is often characterized by a difficult adjustment to extrauterine life, with an inadequate nutrient supply and insufficient levels of growth factors, resulting in poor growth and a high morbidity rate. Long-term multisystem complications include cognitive, behavioral, and motor dysfunction as a result of brain damage as well as visual and hearing deficits and metabolic disorders that persist into adulthood. Insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a major regulator of fetal growth and development of most organs especially the central nervous system including the retina. Glucose metabolism in the developing brain is controlled by IGF-1 which also stimulates differentiation and prevents apoptosis. Serum concentrations of IGF-1 decrease to very low levels after very preterm birth and remain low for most of the perinatal development. Strong correlations have been found between low neonatal serum concentrations of IGF-1 and poor brain and retinal growth as well as poor general growth with multiorgan morbidities, such as intraventricular hemorrhage, retinopathy of prematurity, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and necrotizing enterocolitis. Experimental and clinical studies indicate that early supplementation with IGF-1 can improve growth in catabolic states and reduce brain injury after hypoxic/ischemic events. A multicenter phase II study is currently underway to determine whether intravenous replacement of human recombinant IGF-1 up to normal intrauterine serum concentrations can improve growth and development and reduce prematurity-associated morbidities.

Hellström A, Nilsson AK, Wackernagel D, Pivodic A, Vanpee M, Sjöbom U, Hellgren G, Hallberg B, Domellöf M, Klevebro S, Hellström W, Andersson M, Lund A-M, Löfqvist C, Elfvin A, Sävman K, Hansen-Pupp I, Hård A-L, Smith LEH, Ley D. Effect of Enteral Lipid Supplement on Severe Retinopathy of Prematurity: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatr 2021;175(4):359-367.Abstract
Importance: Lack of arachidonic acid (AA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) after extremely preterm birth may contribute to preterm morbidity, including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Objective: To determine whether enteral supplementation with fatty acids from birth to 40 weeks' postmenstrual age reduces ROP in extremely preterm infants. Design, Setting, and Participants: The Mega Donna Mega trial, a randomized clinical trial, was a multicenter study performed at 3 university hospitals in Sweden from December 15, 2016, to December 15, 2019. The screening pediatric ophthalmologists were masked to patient groupings. A total of 209 infants born at less than 28 weeks' gestation were tested for eligibility, and 206 infants were included. Efficacy analyses were performed on as-randomized groups on the intention-to-treat population and on the per-protocol population using as-treated groups. Statistical analyses were performed from February to April 2020. Interventions: Infants received either supplementation with an enteral oil providing AA (100 mg/kg/d) and DHA (50 mg/kg/d) (AA:DHA group) or no supplementation within 3 days after birth until 40 weeks' postmenstrual age. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was severe ROP (stage 3 and/or type 1). The secondary outcomes were AA and DHA serum levels and rates of other complications of preterm birth. Results: A total of 101 infants (58 boys [57.4%]; mean [SD] gestational age, 25.5 [1.5] weeks) were included in the AA:DHA group, and 105 infants (59 boys [56.2%]; mean [SD] gestational age, 25.5 [1.4] weeks) were included in the control group. Treatment with AA and DHA reduced severe ROP compared with the standard of care (16 of 101 [15.8%] in the AA:DHA group vs 35 of 105 [33.3%] in the control group; adjusted relative risk, 0.50 [95% CI, 0.28-0.91]; P = .02). The AA:DHA group had significantly higher fractions of AA and DHA in serum phospholipids compared with controls (overall mean difference in AA:DHA group, 0.82 mol% [95% CI, 0.46-1.18 mol%]; P < .001; overall mean difference in control group, 0.13 mol% [95% CI, 0.01-0.24 mol%]; P = .03). There were no significant differences between the AA:DHA group and the control group in the rates of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (48 of 101 [47.5%] vs 48 of 105 [45.7%]) and of any grade of intraventricular hemorrhage (43 of 101 [42.6%] vs 42 of 105 [40.0%]). In the AA:DHA group and control group, respectively, sepsis occurred in 42 of 101 infants (41.6%) and 53 of 105 infants (50.5%), serious adverse events occurred in 26 of 101 infants (25.7%) and 26 of 105 infants (24.8%), and 16 of 101 infants (15.8%) and 13 of 106 infants (12.3%) died. Conclusions and Relevance: This study found that, compared with standard of care, enteral AA:DHA supplementation lowered the risk of severe ROP by 50% and showed overall higher serum levels of both AA and DHA. Enteral lipid supplementation with AA:DHA is a novel preventive strategy to decrease severe ROP in extremely preterm infants. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03201588.
Hellström A, Hård A-L, Smith LEH. Tailored vs Static Oxygen Saturation Targets to Prevent Retinopathy of Prematurity. JAMA Ophthalmol 2019;
Hellstrom A, Ley D, Hallberg B, Lofqvist C, Hansen-Pupp I, Ramenghi LA, Borg J, Smith LEH, Hard A-L. IGF-1 as a drug for preterm infants: a step-wise clinical development. Curr Pharm Des 2017;Abstract
BACKGROUND: Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a mitogenic hormone involved in many processes such as growth, metabolism, angiogenesis and differentiation. After very preterm birth, energy demands increase while maternal supplies of nutrients and other factors are lost and the infant may become dependent on parenteral nutrition for weeks. Low postnatal IGF-1 concentrations in preterm infants are associated with poor weight gain, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and other morbidities. We will describe the process by which we aim to develop supplementation with recombinant human (rh) IGF-1 and its binding protein rhIGFBP-3 as a possible therapy to promote growth and maturation and reduce morbidities in extremely preterm infants. METHODS: In order to calculate a dose of IGF-1 tolerated by neonates, a pharmacokinetic study of transfusion with fresh frozen plasma was performed, which provided a relatively low dose of IGF-1, (on average 1.4 μg/kg), that increased serum IGF-1 to levels close to those observed in fetuses and preterm infants of similar GAs. Thereafter, a Phase I 3 hours IV infusion of rhIGF-1/rhIGFBP-3 was conducted in 5 infants, followed by a Phase II study with four sections (A-D). In the Phase II, sections A-D studies, time on infusion increased and younger gestational ages were included. RESULTS: IV infusion increased IGF-1 but with short half-life (0.5h) implying a need for continuous infusion. In order to obtain in utero levels of IGF-I, the dose was increased from 100 to 250 μg/kg/24 h and the infusion was prolonged from 3 weeks postnatal age until a postmenstrual age of 29 weeks and 6 days. CONCLUSION: The purpose has been to ensure high-quality research into the development of a new drug for preterm infants. We hope that our work will help to establish a new standard for the testing of medications for preterm infants.
Hellström A, Hellström W, Hellgren G, Smith LEH, Puttonen H, Fyhr I-M, Sävman K, Nilsson AK, Klevebro S. Docosahexaenoic Acid and Arachidonic Acid Levels Are Associated with Early Systemic Inflammation in Extremely Preterm Infants. Nutrients 2020;12(7)Abstract
Fetal and early postnatal inflammation have been associated with increased morbidity in extremely preterm infants. This study aimed to demonstrate if postpartum levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (AA) were associated with early inflammation. In a cohort of 90 extremely preterm infants, DHA and AA in cord blood, on the first postnatal day and on postnatal day 7 were examined in relation to early systemic inflammation, defined as elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) and/or interleukin-6 (IL-6) within 72 h from birth, with or without positive blood culture. Median serum level of DHA was 0.5 mol% (95% CI (confidence interval) 0.2-0.9, = 0.006) lower than the first postnatal day in infants with early systemic inflammation, compared to infants without signs of inflammation, whereas levels of AA were not statistically different between infants with and without signs of inflammation. In cord blood, lower serum levels of both DHA (correlation coefficient -0.40; = 0.010) and AA (correlation coefficient -0.54; < 0.001) correlated with higher levels of IL-6. Levels of DHA or AA did not differ between infants with and without histological signs of chorioamnionitis or fetal inflammation. In conclusion, serum levels of DHA at birth were associated with the inflammatory response during the early postnatal period in extremely preterm infants.
Hellström A, Ley D, Hansen-Pupp I, Hallberg B, Löfqvist C, van Marter L, van Weissenbruch M, Ramenghi LA, Beardsall K, Dunger D, Hård A-L, Smith LEH. Insulin-like growth factor 1 has multisystem effects on foetal and preterm infant development. Acta Paediatr 2016;105(6):576-86.Abstract

UNLABELLED: Poor postnatal growth after preterm birth does not match the normal rapid growth in utero and is associated with preterm morbidities. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) axis is the major hormonal mediator of growth in utero, and levels of IGF-1 are often very low after preterm birth. We reviewed the role of IGF-1 in foetal development and the corresponding preterm perinatal period to highlight the potential clinical importance of IGF-1 deficiency in preterm morbidities. CONCLUSION: There is a rationale for clinical trials to evaluate the potential benefits of IGF-1 replacement in very preterm infants.

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