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.
- premature infants
- low birth weight
- visual impairment
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