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Retinopathy of prematurity: Treatment and prognosis

Author
David K Coats, MD
Section Editors
Joseph A Garcia-Prats, MD
Richard A Saunders, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH

INTRODUCTION

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a developmental vascular proliferative disorder that occurs in the retina of preterm infants with incomplete retinal vascularization. Next to cortical blindness, ROP is the most common cause of childhood blindness in the United States. Other ophthalmologic disorders that occur frequently in preterm infants include amblyopia, strabismus, and refractive errors.

The treatment and prognosis of ROP are discussed in this topic. The pathogenesis, epidemiology, classification, and screening for ROP are discussed separately. (See "Retinopathy of prematurity: Pathogenesis, epidemiology, classification, and screening".)

Other common eye problems in preterm infants are discussed separately. (See "Refractive errors in children" and "Amblyopia in children: Classification, screening, and evaluation" and "Evaluation and management of strabismus in children".)

TREATMENT

Treatment for ROP is based upon disease severity, as defined by the International Classification for Retinopathy of Prematurity (ICROP) (figure 1). Treatment is initiated when the infant develops type I ROP (also called "high-risk prethreshold ROP"). Type I ROP is defined as any of the following (see "Retinopathy of prematurity: Pathogenesis, epidemiology, classification, and screening", section on 'Classification'):

Any stage ROP with plus disease in zone I

              
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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 31, 2017.
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