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Intravitreal ranibizumab versus laser photocoagulation for retinopathy of prematurity: efficacy, anatomical outcomes and safety


Background/Aims To compare the efficacy, anatomical outcomes and complications of intravitreal ranibizumab with those of laser photocoagulation for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Methods This is a retrospective case series of 314 eyes from 165 infants diagnosed with type I ROP and treated with either laser photocoagulation (161 eyes) or intravitreal ranibizumab (0.25 mg/0.025 mL) injection (153 eyes) between January 2006 and December 2016 in a tertiary referral-based hospital. The main outcome was the rate of recurrence requiring additional treatment. Secondary outcomes included the incidence of major complications and final refractive error.

Results The mean follow-up was 36.3±31.9 months. Recurrences requiring further intervention were noted in 22 (13.7%) laser-treated and 15 (9.8%) ranibizumab-treated eyes (p=0.196). Retinal detachment (8 vs 1, p=0.037) and macular dragging (7 vs 1, p=0.039) were observed in the laser-treated and injection-treated groups, respectively, but no systemic or neurodevelopmental adverse events were reported. In the ranibizumab group, 95.6% showed fully vascularised retinas. Multivariate analyses revealed that birth weight (OR 0.993, p=0.023) and higher ROP stage (OR 11.222, p=0.008) influenced the incidence of major complications.

Conclusion Intravitreal ranibizumab for ROP appears to achieve similar therapeutic effects than did laser photocoagulation, but with fewer surgical complications such as retinal detachment or macular dragging.

  • child health (paediatrics)
  • neovascularisation
  • retina
  • treatment lasers

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