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ARTICLES
Year : 1981  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 183-185

Assessment of gestational age by examination of anterior vascular capsule of the lens


Kalawati Saran Children Hospital, and Deptt. of Ophthalmology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Indra Narayanan
Kalawati Saran Children Hospital, and Deptt. of Ophthalmology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 7346423

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How to cite this article:
Narayanan I, Mehta D K, Dutta A, Paul S. Assessment of gestational age by examination of anterior vascular capsule of the lens. Indian J Ophthalmol 1981;29:183-5

How to cite this URL:
Narayanan I, Mehta D K, Dutta A, Paul S. Assessment of gestational age by examination of anterior vascular capsule of the lens. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1981 [cited 2020 Dec 1];29:183-5. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1981/29/3/183/30876

Table 1

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Table 1

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Gestational age of new born babies is of great importance for their management and for medicolegal purpose. Routine conventional assessment is made on maternal history, which is not well recorded in poor socioeconomic strata and physical criteria which are affected by general condition of baby, intra-uterine growth, colour of skin and maternal health. Changes in anterior vascular capsule of lens in intra-uterine and post-natal life are directly associated with development. Based on Hittner's findings of a study on new born babies in our country (where birth weight is more variable) with 27-34 weeks gestation age was undertaken.


  Materials and methods Top


103 preterm babies with gestational age between 27-34 weeks were included, as cornea was hazy before 27 weeks and anterior vascular capsule was not visible after 34 weeks.

The gestational age of these children was determined on the basis of history and physi­cal and neurological criteria.

Birth weight was recorded soon after birth. Ocular examination was conducted wtih the help of direct ophthalmoscope using + 10 to +20 D lenses after papillary dilation with 5% Drosyn instilled once within 36 hours after birth. Retraction of lids was necessary only in more active babies. Slit lamp examination showed these vascular loops originating from anterior surface of iris and confirmed the find­ings of direct ophthalmoscope [Figure 1

Hittner's Grading

Grade O One or two loops just reaching be­yond pupillary border.

Grade I Few loops forming arcades in one segment of whole circumference.

Grade II Arcade forming in whole circum­ference reaching to the middle of lens surface.

Grade III Dense loops running towards the centre but not reaching up to the centre.

Grade IV Arcades and loops covering the centre of lens capsule also.


  Observations Top


The findings in both eyes were similar in all cases except in two babies where straight bands were more in one eye than the other. Clinical photographs with the help of fundus camera were also taken in some cases. [Figure - 1]

The vascular pattern was studied with each week [Table - 1] and it was observed that the different grades could be grouped in four categories Grade IV - 27-28; Grade III - 29-30; Grade II - 31-32; Grade I - 33-34;

The anterior vascular pattern was studied in relation to birth weight [Figure - 2]. It showed that it had no relationship with birth weight or intrauterine growth retardation.


  Discussion Top


Pupillary membrane or anterior vascular capsule is more constant parameter of deve­lopment and tends to regress after the viability of foetus is achieved. Though some of the remants of pupillary membrane may be seen in adult life but they do not contain blood and are seen as white cord. The vascular pattern showing regression had a linear relationship with gestational age as show by Hittner et al[2]. Only few cases showed a slight over lap while majority of cases followed grading with gesta­tional age (as shown in [Figure - 2]). This was not related to birth weight. In earlier studies it was shown that low birth weight children had ramants of pupillary memberane but the gestational age was not taken into consideration in these cases. In our study no such rela­tionship was observed [Figure - 2].

The vascular pattern could be made out even after death. Though the vassels appeared thinner they could be visualised 4-6 hours after death beyond which they became obscure due to corneal haze.

In this preliminary study we felt that the procedure can be adopted for assessment be­cause of following reasons :­

  1. The technique is simple and needs an ophthalmoscope only.
  2. The method can be adopted by a resi­dent doctor with little experience.
  3. The sick babies are not exposed much in this procedure and this method is very use­ful in limp babies as well.
  4. Gestational assessment can be made even after death (upto 4-6 hrs.). It may be of great importance in medicolegal cases where age is disputed.


 
  References Top

1.
Dubowitz, LAS, Dubowitz, V, and Goldberg C. 1970, J. of Paediatrics 77 : 1.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Hittner, H.M., Hirsch, J.J., Rudolph A.J,, 1977, J. of Paediatrics 91 : 455.  Back to cited text no. 2
    


    Figures

  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table - 1]



 

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