Retinopathy of Prematurity Ophthalmologic Approach Follow-up

Updated: Mar 21, 2016
  • Author: Mounir Bashour, MD, PhD, CM, FRCSC, FACS; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

Any premature infant should continue to be monitored until active disease has subsided.

Since 20% of premature babies develop strabismus and refractive errors, a pediatric ophthalmologist should screen them every 6 months, until age 3 years.

Up to 10% of premature babies may develop glaucoma in later years. Eye examinations should be a part of their annual examinations.

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Transfer

Transfer the infant to a NICU that can handle the disease and the required surgical intervention if necessary.

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Deterrence/Prevention

The Light-ROP study evaluated the role of light in stimulating the development of ROP. Patients were either exposed to normal light conditions in the nursery or shielded from ambient light conditions. There was no difference in the number of patients developing ROP in either group.

In infants at risk for ROP, early administration of high-dose intramuscular vitamin A improves retinal function at 36 weeks’ postmenstrual age.

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Complications

See the list below:

  • Loss of vision even with aggressive surgical treatment
  • Amblyopia due to high refractive errors
  • Strabismus
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
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Prognosis

See the list below:

  • The prognosis is guarded until zone 3 is reached.
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Patient Education

See the list below:

  • Awareness of the risk of potential visual loss from amblyopia, strabismus, retinal detachment, or glaucoma
  • Possible need for repeated surgical procedures
  • Possible patching for amblyopia, thick glasses for myopia, or possible strabismus surgery
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