Macular structural characteristics in children with Down syndrome

Scott O’Brien, Jingyun Wang, Heather A. Smith, Dana L. Donaldson, Kathryn Haider, Gavin J. Roberts, Derek T. Sprunger, Daniel Neely, David Plager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: This prospective study aimed to investigate macular structural characteristics in children with Down syndrome compared to those in healthy children. Methods: Two groups of children (aged 6–16 years) were enrolled: children with Down syndrome (Down syndrome group, N = 17) and age-matched healthy children who were full-term at birth (control group, N = 18). Eligible patients had visual acuity of 20/100 or better and gestational age at birth of ≥ 36 weeks. Fourier domain optical coherence tomography was used for imaging of the macular retinal structure, and retinal volume scans centered on the macula were obtained. Central subfield thickness (CST) and the thickness of the inner and outer retinal layer regions were analyzed using the instrument’s segmentation software. The analysis of data is provided for the right eye only, since there was no significant difference between right and left eyes for either the Down syndrome or control groups. Results: Children in the Down syndrome group generally had identifiable retinal structure. The CST for the full retina and inner and outer retinal layers were all significantly greater in the Down syndrome group than the control group (independent t test, all p < 0.05). Despite the significantly thicker macula, only about 29 % (5 of 17) of the right eyes of patients with Down syndrome had macular thickness outside the normal range. Visual acuity in the Down syndrome group was not directly correlated with increased CST (t = 1.288, r = 0.326, p = 0.202). Conclusions: On average, CST in the Down syndrome group was greater than that in the control group, suggesting abnormal macular development in children with Down syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 2 2015


  • Children
  • Down syndrome
  • Foveal structure
  • OCT
  • Retina
  • Visual function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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