Pain assessment in premature infants treated with intravitreal antiangiogenic therapy for retinopathy of prematurity under topical anesthesia
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- Castellanos, M.A.M., Schwartz, S., Leal, R. et al. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol (2013) 251: 491. doi:10.1007/s00417-012-2060-2
To evaluate the physiological and behavioral pain response in premature infants receiving intravitreal bevacizumab injection (IVB) for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) under topical anesthesia.
A prospective interventional non-comparative case series. Premature infants with high-risk prethreshold or threshold ROP received IVB using topical anesthesia with tetracaine eye drops. A Premature Infant Pain Profile was used to assess the pain response during the procedure.
Nine premature infants requiring bilateral IVB therapy were included in the study. Mean gestational age was 28.7 ± 1.3 weeks, and birth weight was 1,200 ±194 grams. The mean total pain score was found to be 8.7 ± 2.4 (range 5–14), indicating generally mild pain during the procedure. Eye squeeze was the most prominent indicator of pain. Most changes occurred at the beginning, with the insertion of the lid speculum and were hardly noted during the rest of the procedure including the injection itself.
Topical anesthesia with tetracaine is an effective method for the relief of pain associated with intravitreal injections in premature infants with ROP.