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Retinopathy of prematurity: screening and treatment in Costa Rica
  1. Ana Catalina Tabarez-Carvajal1,
  2. Milagro Montes-Cantillo1,
  3. Kelly H Unkrich2,
  4. Rupal H Trivedi2,
  5. Mae Millicent Winfrey Peterseim2
  1. 1 National Children’s Hospital of Dr Carlos Sáenz Herrera, San Jose, Costa Rica
  2. 2 Storm Eye Institute/Medical University of South Carolina Department of Ophthalmology, Charleston, South Carolina, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mae Millicent Winfrey Peterseim, Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of South Carolina, 167 Ashley ave, Charleston 29425-2503, South Carolina, USA; petersem{at}


Aim To determine the recent demographic data, risk factors and results of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening and treatment in Costa Rica.

Methods The medical records of all preterm infants meeting ROP screening criteria (≤34 weeks’ gestational age (GA) or birth weight (BW) ≤1750g, and those determined at risk by neonatologists) in the national healthcare system, Costa Rica, January 2010–December 2014, were retrospectively reviewed. The numbers and percentages of infants with ROP, risk factors, percentage of patients treated and treatment outcomes were determined. Comparison is made with screening criteria and literature reports of ROP incidence in other countries.

Results The study population included 3018 preterm infants. Overall, 585 patients (585/3018, 19.4%) were found to have ROP. Of these, 15.4% (90 patients) required laser treatment, and 53% of those requiring treatment had BW <1000g. Five babies requiring treatment were ≥32 weeks’ GA but with BW ≤1750g. Aggressive posterior disease was found in nine patients, and two infants of those screened (2/3018, 0.07%) suffered severe visual impairment during the 5-year study period.

Conclusion We provide comprehensive data of ROP care in Costa Rica allowing assessment and comparison of screening criteria and protocol.

  • Retina
  • Child health (paediatrics)

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  • Contributors ACTC and MMWP had access to all of the data and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and analysis. Study concept and design: ACTC, MMC and MMWP. Acquisition, analysis and interpretation of data: all authors. Drafting of the manuscript: KHU and MMWP. Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: all authors. Statistical analysis: KHU and RHT.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent There is no identifiable patient data included in this report.

  • Ethics approval Scientific Ethics Committee of the National Children’s Hospital, Costa Rica, Comite Etico Cientifico Hospital Nacional de Ninos.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.