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Profiling children with cerebral visual impairment in a tertiary eye care center

, Worku Martha Degefu

Abstract: Background: Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is a bilateral visual impairment that affects children in all industrialized countries. It has become more common in low-income countries as a result of the increased survival rates of children who suffer from severe neurological conditions during the perinatal period. The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics of children with CVI in a tertiary children’s eye care center population. Methods: From October 2020 to September 2021, a cross-sectional study was conducted to select all consecutive patients with a diagnosis of cerebral visual impairment aged 6 months to 16 years. On the neurological deficit, information was gathered from the patient’s referral: parental interviews, observations, and direct assessment were used for functional vision characteristics, and an ophthalmic examination was performed for eye findings. The interviewees’ responses were matched to the ten specific behavioral characteristics shared by children with CVI. Cortical visual impairment was diagnosed using three criteria: [the vision loss is not explained by abnormalities found on the eye examination, a neurological medical diagnosis, and the child exhibits one of the unique visual and behavioral characteristics described by Roman Lantz]. A descriptive statistical analysis (frequency, mean, and range) was calculated. Results: Forty children with CVI (1.96% of total children) were seen. The mean age was 2.56 ( 1.98) years. There were 24 (60%) males. On a referral paper of 28, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy was the commonest cause mentioned (70.0%). Seizures were the most frequent neurological deficit at presentation. Ophthalmic and neurologic impairments were found in 42.5% of children with CVI. Based on Roman-Lantzy’s three phases of the CVI Range, 90% of children with CVI at the test time had Phase I or Phase II vision. Conclusion: According to the findings of this study, visual impairment is critical in the diagnosis of CVI. The prevalence of CVI as a cause of childhood vision impairment is significant. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is the most common cause of CVI. All children with CVI have serious neurological issues, and the majority have associated ophthalmic abnormalities.
Keywords: children / CVI / visual impairment / neurological deficit / abnormalities / referral / behavioral

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