Ophthalmic outcomes in children exposed to opioid maintenance treatment in utero: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Zeynab Hemmati, Aldo Alberto Conti, Alex Baldacchino*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Opioid use disorder is a significant global issue and the rate of opioid use in women of childbearing age and pregnant women is on the rise. Whilst the adverse general health, cognitive, and neurodevelopmental outcomes of in utero exposure to opioids have been explored, there is a lack of prospective, controlled, longitudinal research into the ophthalmic outcomes. Existing research suggests that there is an association between prenatal exposure and future risk of abnormalities in visual functioning. This systematic review and meta-analysis analysed studies that measured eye abnormalities in infants or children exposed to opioid maintenance therapy in utero and compared them to non-opioid exposed controls. After considering the clinical findings, limitations of the studies, confounding factors, and quantitative analysis, a causal relationship between in utero opioid exposure and future eye abnormalities could not be confirmed. The implications of the findings and their clinical relevance, in addition to identified gaps for future research are also discussed in this paper.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104601
Number of pages15
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume136
Early online date11 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords

  • Prenatal
  • Opioids
  • Methadone
  • Buprenorphine
  • Ophthalmic
  • Visual
  • Eye
  • VEP

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