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עמוד בית
Tue, 28.05.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 12

Journal 5, May 2010
pages: 259-261

The Red Reflex Examination in Neonates: An Efficient Tool for Early Diagnosis of Congenital Ocular Diseases

    Summary

    Background:

    The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published recommendations for the red reflex assessment in the newborn period to detect and treat ocular disorders as early as possible, and to prevent lifelong visual impairment and even save lives. The test is technically simple to perform, non-invasive, requires minimal equipment and can detect a variety of ocular pathologies including cataracts and retinal abnormalities. No specific national guidelines exist on this issue.

    Objectives:

    To document the implementation of red reflex examination in routine neonatal care and present the findings.

    Methods:

    Our clinical experience following implementation of the red reflex test into the newborn physical examination in a single center was reviewed. In addition, an electronic mail questionnaire was sent to all neonatology departments in Israel regarding the performance of the red reflex test.

    Results:

    During 2007–2008, five infants were identified with congenital cataracts at days 2–6 of life prior to discharge from hospital. Surgery was performed in one infant at age 2 months and all infants underwent a thorough follow-up. The incidence of congenital cataract in our center was 1:2300. Less than half the neonatology departments have endorsed the AAP[1] recommendation and perform the red reflex test routinely.

    Conclusions:

    Abnormal red reflex test after delivery enables a rapid ophthalmologic diagnosis, intervention and close follow-up. We recommend that red reflex screening be performed as part of the newborn physical examination if abnormal, an urgent ophthalmologic referral should be made.
     

    [1] AAP = American Academy of Pediatrics

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