Original Article

Impact of Birth Parameters on Retinal Nerve Fiber Layer, Macula and Optic Disc


  • Nursen Arıtürk
  • Volkan Yeter

Received Date: 22.12.2011 Accepted Date: 22.08.2012 Turk J Ophthalmol 2012;42(6):443-449


To investigate the relationships between the birth parameters such as birth weight, gestational age, and birth type and the parameters of macula, optic nerve and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) in preschoolers.

Material and Method:

After a broad ophthalmologic examination was performed for every healthy child at age between 3 and 6, the children were scanned by optical coherence tomography (OCT) for the evaluation of macula, optic disc, and RNFL parameters. The relationships between the birth parameters and OCT parameters were analyzed by Spearman correlation test and Mann Whitney U test.


One hundred and seventy-two eyes of 111 healthy children were evaluated in the study. The mean age of the children was 57.48±11.87 months (range: 30-80 months). Forty-eight percent of the children were delivered vaginally and the rest of them - by cesarean section. The negative correlations between gestational age and thicknesses of superior inner and temporal inner macula, and temporal and inferior RNFL were statistically significant(r=-0.204, p=0.019; r=-0.203, p=0.020; r=-0.230, p=0.009; r=0.175, p=0.047; respectively). While the parameters that showed negative correlations with birth weight were superior outer macular thickness, temporal, inferior, and average RNFL thicknesses and disc area, the parameters that demonstrated positive correlations with birth weight were cup/disc-area and horizontal cup/disc ratios (r=-0.196,p= 0.025; r=-0.317, p< 0.001; r=-0.269, p= 0.002; r=-0.228, p=0.009; r=-0.189, p=0.032; r=0.181, p=0.04; r=0.197, p= 0.025,respectively). Optic disc area of the children who were delivered vaginally was larger than that of the children who were delivered by cesarean section and this difference between these two groups was statistically significant (p=0.034).


There were significant effects of the birth parameters such as birth weight and gestational age on some parameters of macula and optic disc obtained by OCT. It may be thought that the impairment of intrauterine growth could possibly influence optic nerve head and macula. (Turk J Ophthalmol 2012; 42: 443-9)

Keywords: Retinal nerve fiber layer, birth parameters, birth weight, gestational age, delivery way, optical coherence tomography

Full Text (Turkish)