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Treatment for retinopathy of prematurity in infants born before 27 weeks of gestation in Sweden
  1. Dordi Austeng1,2,
  2. Karin B M Källen3,
  3. Uwe W Ewald4,
  4. Agneta Wallin5,
  5. Gerd E Holmström1
  1. 1Department of Neuroscience, Uppsala University, Sweden
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
  3. 3Tornbladsinstitutet, University of Lund, Lund, Sweden
  4. 4Women's and Children's Health, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden
  5. 5St Erik's Eye Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gerd E Holmström, Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital, Uppsala 75185, Sweden; gerd.holmstrom{at}


Aims To study various aspects of treatment for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in a Swedish population of extremely preterm infants born before 27 weeks of gestation.

Methods A national, prospective and population-based study was performed in Sweden from 1 April 2004 to 31 March 2007. The criteria for the treatment of ROP accorded with the recommendations of the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Cooperative Group.

Results Twenty per cent of the infants (99/506) were treated for ROP. The likelihood of reaching treatment criteria nearly doubled for each week of reduction in gestational age at birth. The first treatment was performed at an earlier postmenstrual age in the most immature infants. One third of the infants had more than one session of laser treatment.

Conclusions A high percentage of these extremely preterm infants required treatment for ROP. The likelihood of reaching treatment criteria increased with a decline in gestational age at birth. Although only a few infants progressed to ROP stages 4 and 5, the findings of this study indicate a potential for improvement in the treatment routines, both regarding the timing and number of laser spots at the first treatment.

  • Epidemiology
  • laser
  • neovascularisation
  • population-based
  • retina
  • retinopathy of prematurity
  • treatment lasers

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  • Funding This study received funding from the Birgit and Sven Håkan Olsson Foundation, the Evy and Gunnar Sandberg Foundation, Kronprinsessan Margarethas Arbetsnämnd för synskadade and the Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired, Sweden.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Ethics Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Sweden.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.