Retinopathy of prematurity--risk factors

U. Kopylov*, L. Sirota, N. Linder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) was first described by Terry in 1942. ROP is considered a multifactorial disease. Low gestational age, low birth weight and oxygen therapy are recognized as risk factors for this condition. Other risk factors including multigestational pregnancy, white race, sepsis, NEC, BPD, intraventricular hemorrhage, lung maturation, steroid treatment, blood transfusions and light exposure were identified by multiple studies. We aim to review these studies in order to identify the independent risk factors for the development of ROP. The reviewed studies confirm that low birth weight, low gestational age, prolonged oxygen treatment and blood transfusions are statistically significant risk factors for the development of ROP. The incidence of all stages of ROP is similar for Caucasian and black infants, although the occurrence of threshold ROP was found higher in the Caucasian group. No relationship was demonstrated between light exposure and the development of ROP. The studies reviewed show decreased frequency and severity of ROP in neonates of mothers who had received antenatal steroid therapy. The findings concerning the influence of postnatal steroid treatment on the incidence of ROP are controversial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1069, 1089
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


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