Eye abnormalities may be the initial finding in infants of women with polymerase chain-reaction confirmed Zika virus infection during their pregnancy, according to a study.
Of 112 women in the descriptive case series with Zika virus infection, 24 of their infants (21.4%) had confirmed eye abnormalities, with 14 infants born to women infected in their first trimester.
The study was performed from Jan. 2, 2016, through Oct. 30, 2016, by a multidisciplinary medical team from Fernandes Figueira Institute in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
An impaired optic nerve and/or retina was the most frequent eye abnormality found in the infants; 19 infants had optic nerve abnormalities, and 15 infants had abnormal retinas.
Twenty infants had microcephaly, 31 had other central nervous system (CNS) abnormalities such as ventriculomegaly, cerebral calcifications, and posterior fossa abnormalities, and 61 had no CNS finding. In the infants with eye abnormalities, 14 of the 24 had microcephaly, 16 had other CNS findings, seven had arthrogryposis and eight had no CNS impairment.
“Eye abnormalities may be the only initial finding in congenital Zika virus infection. All infants with potential Zika virus exposure should undergo screening eye examinations regardless of CNS abnormalities, timing of maternal infection during pregnancy or laboratory confirmation,” the authors wrote.
Infants with eye abnormalities had a higher association with microcephaly, other CNS abnormalities, earlier trimester Zika infection in their mother’s pregnancy and arthrogryposis, according to the researchers. – by Robert Linnehan
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.