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Retinal haemorrhages in newborn infants

The following is a summary of the systematic review findings up to the date of our most recent literature search. If you have a specific clinical case, we strongly recommend you read all of the relevant references as cited and look for additional material published outside our search dates.


Given the significance of retinal haemorrhages when they are identified in young infants, an important differential diagnosis are retinal findings as a consequence of birth. Thus this review aimed to answer the following questions:


a) What are the retinal findings in newborn infants?

b) What are the obstetric correlates to retinal haemorrhages in the newborn?

c) What is the evolution of newborn retinal haemorrhages?


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   – Overall results
   – Time from birth to examination
   – Influence of ethnicity and socio-economic group

Retinal haemorrhages recorded following different modes of delivery

   – Spontaneous vaginal
   – Instrumental
   – Caesarean

Retinal features

   – Severity
   – Size
   – Layer
   – Laterality
   – Location
   – Outcome

Implications for practice

Research implications

Limitations of review findings

Other useful references


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