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Screening for retinopathy of prematurity
  1. L Andruscavage1,
  2. D J Weissgold2
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology
  1. Correspondence to: David Weissgold, MD, UVM/FAHC, Ophthalmology, 1 S Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401, USA; david.weissgold{at}


Aim: A cross sectional (prevalence) study was performed to assess the usefulness and sensitivity of commonly employed criteria to identify infants for routine ophthalmoscopic screening for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Methods: At a tertiary care centre between 1 January 1992 and 30 June 1998, experienced vitreoretinal specialists screened 438 premature infants for ROP. Retinal maturity and the presence of ROP were determined by indirect ophthalmoscopic examinations.

Results: Of the eligible infants surviving 28 days, 276 (91.7%) of 301 infants with birth weights ≤1500 g and 162 (52.3%) of 310 infants with birth weights between 1501 and 2500 g were screened for ROP. 10 (3.9%) of the 310 infants with larger birth weights developed stage 1 or 2 ROP. Two (0.6%) of the 310 infants with larger birth weights developed stage 3 ROP. These two infants progressed to threshold ROP and required treatment.

Conclusions: Relatively restrictive criteria to identify premature infants eligible for routine ophthalmoscopic screening for ROP may be the cause for some infants going unexamined and their ROP undetected.

  • retinopathy
  • premature infants
  • low birth weight
  • blindness
  • visual impairment

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