Study Delineates the Location of Blood Vessels in Retinal Layers in Preterm Infants

Monday, August 9, 2021

Drexel Medical Student, Pujan Patel, under the mentorship of Xi Chen, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, and colleagues published the first ever study that delineates the location of blood vessels in retinal layers in preterm infants around the fovea, the center of vision. Cynthia Toth, MD, a collaborator, noted that Mr. Patel and Dr. Chen's work is "incredibly important" because "the central area of vision (the macula) in infant eyes is quite different from that of the adult." This study points out that understanding the development of retinal vasculature in very young infants is not possible without first setting forth the location of different vessel layers. The study team, under Dr. Chen's lead, was able to distinguish a difference between two layers of vessels in infants in the preterm period and three layers at term age. The tools that Mr. Patel and the team developed will be useful in future research into how our retina develops.

The study, Depth-Resolved Visualization of Perifoveal Retinal Vasculature in Preterm Infants Using Handheld Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography, was recently published in Translational Vision Science and Technology.