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Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2005 Nov-Dec;68(6):753-6.

[Ocular manifestations in patients who had malnutrition in the first six months of life].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Fundação Altino Ventura, Rua da Soledade 170, CEP 50070-040 Recife, PE.



To investigate possible ophthalmologic alterations in patients who had severe malnutrition during the first six months of life.


182 eyes of 91, 2 to 11-year-old, children who had had severe malnutrition during the first six months of life (study group) were analyzed. As a control group 88 children selected according to similar characteristics of age, gender, demographic and economic conditions were included.


In the study group, a higher frequency of children with visual acuity from 0.3 to 0.1 and less than 0.1 (11.5% versus 0.7% - p< 0.0001) was observed. There was a higher frequency of astigmatism and myopia in the study group. A higher frequency of astigmatism of one diopter or more in the study group (p< 0.0001) was also observed. The fundoscopic alterations were pale optic nerve (2.2%), increased disc cup (4.4%), increased vascular tortuosity (6.6%), alteration of retina color (13.2%) and retinal pigment epithelium cell atrophy (12.0%).


The present data support the concept that early malnutrition interferes in the individual's visual health. Further studies are necessary to establish a more precise cause-effect relationship.

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