Author(s): Chen J, Stahl A, Hellstrom A, Smith LE
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Despite current treatments, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) remains a major cause of blindness in premature infants and the incidence is increasing with increased survival of infants born at very early gestational ages. This review summarizes the recent literature on ROP with a special focus on recent advances in treatment options as well as newly developed methods for disease screening. RECENT FINDINGS: Genetic studies find a genetic predisposition to ROP-linking genes in the Wnt pathway with development of severe ROP. With regard to diagnosis, a new screening method has been developed that allows prediction of ROP risk based on postnatal body weight gain alone. Formerly weight gain postnatally in combination with insulin-like growth factor levels was found to predict treatable ROP. New treatment options for severe cases of ROP have been proposed targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Whether anti-VEGF treatment is well tolerated in preterm infants, however, has to be further evaluated in controlled clinical trials. Finally, new reports from the early treatment ROP group suggest that early laser treatment for type 1 but not type 2 high-risk prethreshold ROP improves visual acuity outcomes at 6 years of age. SUMMARY: With the increasing survival of premature infants and increased incidence of ROP, it is important to screen for ROP risk and treat at-risk patients in a timely manner to preserve their visual function and reduce complications.
This article was published in Curr Opin Pediatr
and referenced in Anatomy & Physiology: Current Research