Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 99–109 | Cite as

Oxygen supply and consumption in the retina: implications for studies of retinopathy of prematurity

  • Stephen J. Cringle
  • Dao-Yi YuEmail author
Review Article


A disrupted oxygen environment in the retina of severely premature neonates is thought to be a key factor in the development of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This review describes our understanding of intraretinal oxygen distribution and consumption in a range of animal models, including species with naturally avascular retinas and models of induced occlusion of the retinal vasculature. The influence of graded systemic hyperoxia on retinal oxygenation is also discussed along with modulation of retinal oxygen metabolism. The differences in retinal oxygenation between developing and mature retinas are also described. Comparisons are made with studies in the monkey retina in order to assess possible similarities in behaviour between rat and human retinas. Pathogenesis mechanism and possible intervention strategies during the diseased processes in ROP are proposed based on our current knowledge.


Retinopathy of prematurity ROP Oxygen Retina Choroid 



Grant funding was provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia and by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Vision Science. We wish to acknowledge the following co-workers who contributed to the experimental studies that we have reviewed: Dr Er-Ning Su, Dr Paula Yu, Professor Valerie Alder, and Mr Dean Darcey.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Vision ScienceThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Lions Eye InstituteNedlandsAustralia

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