, Volume 79, Issue 4, pp 501-509
Date: 27 Oct 2010

Retinopathy of Prematurity

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Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) occurs due to abnormal proliferation of retinal vessels. The most important risk factors which predispose to development of ROP include oxygen therapy, anemia needing blood transfusion, sepsis and apnea. Very low birth weight neonates, those born at ≤32 week of gestation and other preterm neonates with risk factors must be screened for ROP. As a general rule first screening should be done at 1 month of postnatal age. If screening detects ROP not needing treatment follow up should be planned according to location and stage of ROP. Better visual outcomes are observed with earlier treatment at lower threshold. Peripheral retinal ablation with diode laser under adequate analgesia and sedation is the preferred method for treatment of severe ROP. Guidelines regarding the procedure of dilatation, ophthalmic examination and treatment (if required) have been provided in the protocol. Close co-operation between the ophthalmologist and neonatologist is essential for successful management of ROP.