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Int J Ophthalmol. 2013 Aug 18;6(4):475-80. doi: 10.3980/j.issn.2222-3959.2013.04.13. eCollection 2013.

Spontaneous regression of retinopathy of prematurity: incidence and predictive factors.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Zhujiang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510282, Guangdong Province, China.



To evaluate the incidence of spontaneous regression of changes in the retina and vitreous in active stage of retinopathy of prematurity(ROP) and identify the possible relative factors during the regression.


This was a retrospective, hospital-based study. The study consisted of 39 premature infants with mild ROP showed spontaneous regression (Group A) and 17 with severe ROP who had been treated before naturally involuting (Group B) from August 2008 through May 2011. Data on gender, single or multiple pregnancy, gestational age, birth weight, weight gain from birth to the sixth week of life, use of oxygen in mechanical ventilation, total duration of oxygen inhalation, surfactant given or not, need for and times of blood transfusion, 1,5,10-min Apgar score, presence of bacterial or fungal or combined infection, hyaline membrane disease (HMD), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), duration of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and duration of ROP were recorded.


The incidence of spontaneous regression of ROP with stage 1 was 86.7%, and with stage 2, stage 3 was 57.1%, 5.9%, respectively. With changes in zone III regression was detected 100%, in zone II 46.2% and in zone I 0%. The mean duration of ROP in spontaneous regression group was 5.65±3.14 weeks, lower than that of the treated ROP group (7.34±4.33 weeks), but this difference was not statistically significant (P=0.201). GA, 1min Apgar score, 5min Apgar score, duration of NICU stay, postnatal age of initial screening and oxygen therapy longer than 10 days were significant predictive factors for the spontaneous regression of ROP (P<0.05). Retinal hemorrhage was the only independent predictive factor the spontaneous regression of ROP (OR 0.030, 95%CI 0.001-0.775, P=0.035).


This study showed most stage 1 and 2 ROP and changes in zone III can spontaneously regression in the end. Retinal hemorrhage is weakly inversely associated with the spontaneous regression.


duration of ROP; incidence; retinopathy of prematurity; spontaneous regression

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