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Retinopathy of prematurity in Saudi Arabia: incidence, risk factors, and the applicability of current screening criteria
  1. A A Binkhathlan1,
  2. L A Almahmoud2,
  3. M J Saleh2,
  4. S Srungeri2
  1. 1
    King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  2. 2
    Children Hospital, Riyadh Medical Complex, Saudi Arabia
  1. A A Binkhathlan, King Fahad Medical City, PO Box 21078, Riyadh 11475, Saudi Arabia; afaf{at}


Aims: To study the risk factors for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) and the applicability of the current ROP screening criteria in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A retrospective study of ROP incidence was conducted in patients of a neonatal intensive care unit in Riyadh from July 2003 until July 2004. Infants born at <36 weeks of gestation, and/or weighing <2000 g at birth, had their charts reviewed for ROP diagnosis and risk factors for ROP. The sensitivity and specificity of current screening criteria were assessed.

Results: One hundred and seventy-four infants were examined. Retinopathy of prematurity was diagnosed in 93 infants (56%); 15% of those patients were in stage 3 of the disease (severe ROP). The mean gestational age (GA) was 30 weeks for the ROP-positive group. At ⩽32 weeks’ gestational age and ⩽1500 g birth weight, the sensitivity of the current screening criteria was 68%, and the specificity was 55%. The most significant independent risk factor for the development of ROP was gestational age at birth.

Conclusions: This study found an older mean GA in infants developing ROP; it is recommended that the current screening criteria be widened to include 34-week GA infants into the programme. A tighter control on oxygen therapy is also recommended.

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  • Competing interests: None.