Every year around 1000 Swedish infants are born more than two months prematurely. Preterm infants are at increased risk of damage to several important organs, including the brain, lungs, guts and eyes. Around 350 of these infants develop the eye disease retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) which, if left untreated, can threaten their sight.
Ten per cent, or around one hundred, of the preterm infants need the same treatment to prevent blindness.
"In the past 50 years it has been routine for all infants born very prematurely to be examined several times by ophthalmologists to identify children who need treatment for ROP, but this expensive method of screening can now perhaps be replaced by a considerably simpler and cheaper method, so that ophthalmological examination can be avoided in most cases," says Professor Ann Hellström of Sahlgrenska Academy.
The research team has previously identified another important link between preterm birth and vascular disease in the eye, the protein IGF-1, which is strongly linked to the infant's weight gain. Assisted by statisticians at the University of Gothenburg, the researchers have developed an assessment model known as WINROP (Weight IGF-1 Neonatal ROP), which is based on weekly measurements of the infant's weight and analyses of the serum levels of IGF-1. "However, one would prefer not to take any blood samples from the preterm infants, and therefore we wanted to investigate whether our surveillance model worked if we only used the infant's weight. We found that it works extremely well," says Professor Hellström.
In a review of medical records, information on the weekly weights of 350 infants was entered into the model, and the outcome was compared with the ophthalmological examinations performed on them.
"All infants at risk were on average identified a few months before the ophthalmologist had seen signs of ROP requiring treatment. The method could therefore not just save money but also make it possible for infants with eye problems to be identified earlier," says Professor Hellström.
The new WINROP model is now to be evaluated in a large British study and also on data from Brazilian and American infants. The material will be analysed during the summer of 2009.For further information, contact:
About 4000 undergraduate students and 1000 postgraduate students are enrolled at Sahlgrenska Academy. The staff is about 1500 persons. 850 of them are researchers and/or teachers.
University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has about 25 000 full-time students and a staff of 5 200. Its eight faculties offer training in the Creative Arts, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Humanities, Education, Information Technology, Business, Economics and Law, and Health Sciences.
Helena Aaberg | idw
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy