A national telemedicine network for retinopathy of prematurity screening

Diego Ossandón, Mario Zanolli, Ricardo Stevenson, Ricardo Agurto, Paula Ortiz, Gad Dotan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To report the results of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening by a telemedicine system in Chile and evaluate its usefulness for referring patients who require treatment. Methods: Premature infants at risk of developing ROP from 11 neonatal intensive care units were included. Screening was performed on all infants born at a gestational age of <32 weeks and/or birth weight of <1500 g. A trained nonphysician operator used an imaging system to capture retinal images, which were reviewed by two independent ROP experts. All infants that required treatment were referred for further evaluation. Results: The study included 2,048 eyes of 1,024 premature infants. Mean gestational age was 28.8 ± 2.2 weeks, and mean birth weight was 1128 ± 279 g. A total of 5,263 telemedicine examinations were performed and reported. The average number of image sets per patient was 2.6 ± 2.5. Of the 5,263 images, 4,903 (93%) were recorded to at least the end of zone II; 5,172 (98%) were graded as having good quality, allowing for staging of ROP disease. Forty-two infants (4%) were referred for treatment. Discharged patients with ROP type 2 that regressed did not present with any complications or adverse effects during 6 months’ follow-up. Conclusions: Our study demonstrates the utility of telemedicine screening for ROP with ophthalmologist readers in a developing country. Telemedicine screening was able to detect treatment-requiring ROP. Most of the images had good quality and showed the end of zone II, two variables sufficient to discharge patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-127
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2018


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