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Prevalence and causes of infantile nystagmus in a large population-based Danish cohort

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PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to provide a population-based estimate on the prevalence of infantile nystagmus and to describe the causes in the Capital Region of Denmark.

METHODS: Review of medical records of children with infantile nystagmus born in the period 1 January 2010 through 31 December 2017 and living in the Capital Region of Denmark. We used birth registry data from Statistics Denmark and the National Danish Birth Registry to calculate the prevalence of nystagmus in children born at term and prematurely.

RESULTS: A total of 103 patients (52 males/51 females) with infantile nystagmus were included. The overall prevalence of infantile nystagmus was 6.1 per 10 000 live births. It was higher in premature children (28.4/10 000 live births) than children born at term (4.4/10 000), p < 0.0001, and highest in children born extremely preterm, (97.3/10 000). The most common cause of infantile nystagmus was ocular disease (44%) followed by idiopathic nystagmus (32%), neurological disorders and genetic syndromes (20%) and prematurity without retinopathy of prematurity as the only cause (4%).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we provide the prevalence of infantile nystagmus based on national medical records in which all residents are accounted for. Our findings show a prevalence of 6.1 per 10 000 live births but six times higher among children born preterm than born at term. Ocular disease was the leading cause of infantile nystagmus with albinism and ocular malformations as the most frequent. In 1/3 of patients, no cause could be identified.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Volume98
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
ISSN1755-375X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • albinism, congenital nystagmus, idiopathic infantile nystagmus, infantile nystagmus, paediatric ophthalmology

ID: 59384216