Premature infants with gestational age less than 25 weeks require increased ophthalmology resources for retinopathy of prematurity

Vivian S. Hawn, Rakin Muhtadi, Pamela Suman, Mariam S. Latuga, Graham Quinn, Umar Mian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: It is unclear how increasing survival of low gestational age (GA) infants affects ophthalmologic screening and treatment rates for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). This study compared the examination and treatment rates of infants born at GA of <25 weeks and those born at GA of at least 25 weeks. Methods: This was a retrospective study of patients who met institutional ROP screening criteria and were admitted to two neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) from January 2017 to June 2020. Variables analyzed were GA, birth weight, number of ophthalmology examinations, worst stage of ROP, presence of type 1 ROP, and comorbidities associated with ROP. The χ2, Fisher exact, and two-tailed t tests, as well as univariate and multivariable logistic regression, were used for statistical analysis. Results: Compared to the GA≥25 group, the GA<25 group had a higher number of total exams (10 vs 4.3 [P < 0.001]), higher average worst stage of ROP (1.4 vs 0.3 [P < 0.001]) and higher rate of type 1 ROP (21% vs 1.4% [P < 0.001]), as well as higher mortality (37% vs 8.11% [P < 0. 001]). Multivariable logistic regression analysis controlling for GA, sepsis, and number of transfusions revealed that only GA was significantly associated with developing type 1 ROP. Conclusions: Infants with GA <25 weeks had more severe ROP and required significantly more ophthalmologic examinations than GA ≥25. It is important for ROP services to plan for this increased screening load, especially if the number of such lower-weight infants in their NICUs increases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307.e1-307.e5
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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