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Screening for retinopathy of prematurity: evaluation and modification of guidelines
  1. E Larsson,
  2. G Holmström
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to: Gerd Holmström, MD, PhD, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital, S 758 95 Uppsala, Sweden; gerd.holmstrom{at}


Aims: To evaluate current screening guidelines for ROP (retinopathy of prematurity) and to determine whether they can be modified.

Methods: In accordance with the authors’ present criterion, infants born in Stockholm County, Sweden, from 1 August 1998 to 31 July 2000, with a gestational age of ≤32 weeks, were screened for ROP. The effectiveness of screening was studied.

Results: The incidence of ROP was 25.5% in this study. A dropout group comprising almost 20% of the population studied (≤32 weeks), was never referred, were lost to follow up, or died before screening was completed. No infant with a gestational age of >31 weeks at birth developed severe ROP (stages 3–5) and no infant with a gestational age of >29 weeks was treated for ROP.

Conclusion: 80% of infants in this population with a gestational age at birth of ≤32 weeks, the current screening criterion, were effectively screened for ROP. The authors recommend that the screening criterion be lowered to ≤31 weeks since no infant with severe ROP would have been missed.

  • retinopathy of prematurity
  • screening
  • guidelines

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