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Advances in the Management of Retinopathy of Prematurity

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Pediatric Ophthalmology

Part of the book series: Current Practices in Ophthalmology ((CUPROP))

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Abstract

Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a retinal disorder characterized by abnormal neovascular proliferation that occurs secondary to arrest of the physiologic retinal vascularization. ROP accounts for nearly 40% of childhood blindness and is estimated to affect three-fourth of premature infants born with a birth weight of less than 1250 grams (g) [1]. The epidemiology of ROP is described in three epidemics [2]. Unrestricted use of oxygen led to the first epidemic of ROP in the USA and the UK between 1940 and 1960. Restriction of oxygen usage curtailed the first epidemic albeit with some increase in pulmonary complications and mortality. The second epidemic was again seen in developed countries due to increased survival of preterm babies with very low birth weights. The burden of ROP in current times is limited to the low- and middle-income countries and is postulated to be similar to the situation in the developed countries in the first epidemic. Out of the estimated 15 million preterm infants born worldwide every year, nearly 3.8 million are born in low- and middle-income countries [3]. High rates of preterm births, suboptimal neonatal care, low screening coverage, and paucity of trained ophthalmologists have caused ROP to become an emerging public health problem in these nations. Studies in Asian Indian infants have shown that ROP can occur in heavier and more mature infants with birth weight >1250 g [4, 5]. In India, for example, as per WHO (2010) out of the 3.5 million preterm births, about 6,00,000 babies are born at gestational age (GA) <32 weeks. Out of these, approximately 2,00,000 babies are at the risk of developing ROP every year. Even if 10% of them develop treatable disease, roughly 20,000 newborns will require ROP management every year in India alone [6, 7].

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Katoch, D., Markan, A., Dogra, M.R. (2022). Advances in the Management of Retinopathy of Prematurity. In: Ramasubramanian, A. (eds) Pediatric Ophthalmology. Current Practices in Ophthalmology. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-4963-0_5

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-4963-0_5

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