April 11, 2016
1 min read

Premature infants without ROP still at risk for ocular pathology

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Ocular pathology may be missed in premature infants with no or mild retinopathy of prematurity who are not followed up beyond 12 months of age, according to a scientific poster presented here at the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus meeting.

Christine Law, MD, and colleagues from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, conducted a retrospective consecutive cohort study of infants born at gestational age less than 37 weeks and followed up for 6 months or more. Incidence and age at diagnosis of strabismus, nystagmus, and high myopia or hyperopia were analyzed and stratified by worst documented stage of ROP.

Whereas ocular disease develops in infants with a history of severe ROP at a high rate of 40% to 44%, disease also develops in premature infants without or with mild ROP at a significant rate of 17% to 28%, according to the study. One in four of these infants may have missed ocular pathology if not followed until a minimum of 24 months of age, the researchers said.

In the study’s restricted sample of 124 infants in whom ocular pathology was identified, 77% of cases were identified by examination by 12 months, 92% were identified by 24 months, and 97% were identified by 36 months.

“A premature infant who has cleared acute ROP screening should be re-examined at 6 to 12 months of age and followed until age 2,” with follow-up until 36 months yielding even more cases, Law and colleagues wrote.

Furthermore, “Infants with a history of severe ROP require lifelong follow-up to monitor for late retinal complications,” the study concluded. – by Patricia Nale, ELS

Reference: Law C. Incidence and timing of ocular pathology in premature infants. Poster 12 presented at: American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus 42nd annual meeting; April 6-10, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia.

Disclosure: Law reports no relevant financial disclosures.