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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, MD, FRCOG, Joachim W.

Ed. by Bancalari, Eduardo / Chappelle, Joseph / Chervenak, Frank A. / D'Addario , Vincenzo / Genc, Mehmet R. / Greenough, Anne / Grunebaum, Amos / Konje, Justin C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Romero, Roberto / Zalud, MD PhD, Ivica

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.361
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.578

CiteScore 2018: 1.29

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Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.602

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Volume 40, Issue 3


Retinal microvascular changes in low-birth-weight babies have a link to future health

Yogavijayan Kandasamy / Roger Smith
  • University of Newcastle John Hunter Hospital, Locked Bag 1, Hunter Region Mail Center, Newcastle, NSW 2310, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ian M.R. Wright
  • Department of Neonatology, John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW 2310, Australia
  • Division of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2011-12-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm.2011.116


Background: In utero insults that result in low-birth-weight (LBW) infants are now recognized risk factors for the development of vascular-related diseases in adulthood. Microcirculatory pathologies are believed to form a mechanistic link between fetal insult and the manifestation of illness in adulthood.

Objectives: The challenge has been to investigate microcirculatory changes in vivo. The objective of this review is to determine whether LBW infants and individuals undergo abnormal microvascular changes and, if so, whether these changes can be objectively identified and measured by investigating retinal vessels.

Methods: An online publication search was carried out using the following keywords to identify and review relevant articles: retinal microvasculature, retinal vessels, small for gestation age, growth restriction, and intrauterine growth restriction. Articles published from 1980 to 2011 were considered.

Conclusions: The ability of retinal imaging technology to assess and measure retinal microvasculature makes it a valuable assessment tool. The current tool is, however, unsuitable for non-invasive assessment in infants and young children. Once this hurdle has been overcome, a longitudinal study of LBW individuals from infancy to adulthood, with regular retinal microvascular assessments, would help prove the mechanistic link between LBW and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

Keywords: Low birth weight; microcirculation; microvascular; retina; retinal vessels

About the article

Corresponding author: Yogavijayan Kandasamy Department of Neonatology The Townsville Hospital 100 Angus Smith Drive Douglas Queensland 4814 Australia Tel.: +61 747962989 Fax:+61 747962981

Received: 2011-08-26

Revised: 2011-09-17

Accepted: 2011-09-23

Published Online: 2011-12-13

Published in Print: 2012-04-01

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Volume 40, Issue 3, Pages 209–214, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm.2011.116.

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