University of Oulu

Pitkänen, J., Leiviskä, I., Liinamaa, J. and Saarela, V. (2022), Antenatal and neonatal factors and morphology of the optic nerve head in the Northern Finland birth cohort. Acta Ophthalmol, 100: e1657-e1664.

Antenatal and neonatal factors and morphology of the optic nerve head in the Northern Finland birth cohort

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Author: Pitkänen, Joel1; Leiviskä, Ilmari1; Liinamaa, Johanna1;
Organizations: 1Department of Ophthalmology, PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Center, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-07-05


Purpose: The optic nerve head (ONH) is a part of the brain that can be evaluated through the transparent medium of the eye. The purpose of this study was to explore the possible correlations among the properties of the optic nerve head, maternal factors during pregnancy and neonatal parameters in a randomized sample of a birth cohort.

Methods: The Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort has been prospectively monitored since their antenatal period. Data on pregnancy and neonatal period were collected during gestation and right after birth in 1966. A randomized sample of 3070 subjects underwent an ophthalmic assessment at the age of 46–48 years. The examination protocol included scanning laser ophthalmoscopy with the Heidelberg Retina Tomograph. The ophthalmological parameters assessed were the disc area and the neuroretinal rim volume of the ONH.

Results: We found that chronic pulmonary disease of the mother (p = 0.007), the number of gestational weeks (p = 0.030) and the mother’s highest measured systolic blood pressure (p = 0.035) during pregnancy had a statistically significant effect on the disc area. Smaller disc size was associated with pulmonary disease and early gestation. There was a significant difference in rim volume between genders (p < 0.001). Women had larger neuroretinal rim volumes compared to men.

Conclusion: In this population-based study, the vast majority of antenatal and neonatal factors showed no correlation with optic disc area or rim volume. Furthermore, even the factors with statistically significant correlation with ONH morphology had limited predictive value.

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Series: Acta ophthalmologica
ISSN: 1755-375X
ISSN-E: 1755-3776
ISSN-L: 1755-375X
Volume: 100
Issue: 8
Pages: e1657 - e1664
DOI: 10.1111/aos.15164
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3125 Otorhinolaryngology, ophthalmology
Funding: This study has received funding from the Silmäsäätiö Foundation, the Suomen Silmälääkäriyhdistys and the Glaukooma Tukisäätiö Lux Foundation. The funding organizations had no role in the design or conduct of this study. The authors have no conflict of interest. NFBC1966 received financial support from University of Oulu Grant no. 24000692, Oulu University Hospital Grant no. 24301140 and ERDF European Regional Development Fund Grant no. 539/2010 A31592.
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Acta Ophthalmologica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.