Date: 07 Jan 2012

Lack of association of VEGF gene 3’- UTR polymorphisms (C702T, C936T and G1612A) and the risk of developing advanced retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)

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Dear Editor:

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a well-known visual impairment in premature children. It is a disease of developing retinal blood vessels. The condition is a multifactorial disease, and is clinically similar to familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (FEVR) which occurs in full-term infants. Both of these disorders can cause blindness in young children. While the pathogenesis and etiology of ROP are currently unknown, candidate gene and twin studies suggest that this unpredictability of ROP could be due to genetic factors in addition to environmental factors [1, 2]. However, at present there is no reliable biomarker to predict which premature infant will develop retinal detachment and blindness. The ability to identify a biomarker might allow fewer at-risk babies to be screened at the early stages of the disease.

The blinding complication of ROP is strongly associated with the development of retinal neovascularization. In this process, vascular endothelial growth factor pla