Advances in neonatal care improved the survival of many preterm infants, but also increased the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Numerous risk factors have been associated with the development of ROP, the most important of which are: low birth weight, early gestational age at delivery, and duration of oxygen therapy. Screening premature infants is a critical factor for any prevention and treatment protocol. The Retinopathy of Prematurity Subcommittee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) have developed guidelines that assist practicing physicians in managing children with ROP. A portion of these guidelines is particularly applicable to practicing obstetricians who, along with the pediatricians, are often the primary physicians for the affected families. The aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive overview of the epidemiology, etiology, manifestations, prevention, and management of ROP. In the last section, the authors present guidelines for practicing obstetricians that incorporate the most recent recommendations of ophthalmic and pediatric thought leaders.
PMID: 16881385 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]