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Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 2004 Mar;18(2):130-4.

Postnatal risk factors of retinopathy of prematurity.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Asan Medical Centre, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


To investigate the postnatal risk factors of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), we analysed demographic and clinical data abstracted from the medical records of 425 premature babies who were examined for ROP between January 1994 and December 1998 at Asan Medical Centre, Seoul, Korea. ROP developed in 20.7% of the cases studied. A gestational age (GA) of < or = 28 weeks and birthweight (BW) of < or = 1000 g were the most significant risk factors. Ventilator care for > or = 48 h, apnoea, and use of surfactant independently increased the incidence of ROP. Furthermore, frequent apnoeic attacks increased the progression of pre-threshold ROP to threshold ROP. Therefore, as well as GA and BW, apnoea, prolonged use of a ventilator, and surfactant therapy are significant independent risk factors for ROP. In addition, apnoea may not only increase the risk of developing ROP, but may also worsen pre-existing ROP.

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