To compare the development of the visual pathway in healthy preterm and full-term newborns using flash and patterned (both transient and steady-state) visual-evoked potentials (fVEP, pVEP-t, pVEP-ss).Twenty-nine preterm newborns (28-35 weeks gestational age) were evaluated at four different times: at 3 months postnatal and corrected age, at 8 months postnatal and corrected age. They were matched with 92 term newborns tested at 3 and 8 months of life.The maximal perceived spatial frequencies in the groups were: 2 C/d at 3 months postnatal age, >2 C/d at 3 months corrected age and at 3 months at term, between 3 and 5C/d, >=5C/d at 8 months corrected age and at 8 months of life, respectively. The latencies of the P1 and P100 waves for the flash and the transient stimulation were, respectively, 192 ms and 207.9 ms at 3 months postnatal age, 144 ms and 137.7 ms at 3 months corrected age, 126.3 ms and 124.1 ms at 8 months postnatal age, 112.7 ms and 112.5 ms at 8 months corrected age, 137.3 and 110.1 ms at 3 months of life; and 122.3 and 100.5 ms at 8 months of life.In the preterm infants of 3 gestational months, the latencies of the fVEP are comparable to those of the 3-month-old full-term infants, although the pVEP-t latencies are still delayed at 8 months. In the fVEP; however, we noted a shorter latency in the preterm infants at 8 months corrected age compared to those of the full-term infants. This tendency inversion was also evidenced at the steady-state stimulation.As evidenced by our results, at 8 months of corrected age the preterm infants recovered the fVEP and pVEP-ss, but not the pVEP-t. Different results obtained with different visual-evoked stimulations suggest that similar neural pools are developed in not completely equal amounts of time.
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