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Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2005;103:281-312.

Retinopathy of prematurity: involution, factors predisposing to retinal detachment, and expected utility of preemptive surgical reintervention.

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Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.



To characterize involution of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) following treatment at threshold, to identify findings during involution that portend development of retinal detachment, and to assess the potential utility of preemptive vitrectomy for eyes with high-risk features.


The probability of ROP involution and of retinal detachment evolution over time was analyzed in 262 treated eyes of 138 infants in a retrospective observational non-case controlled series. Expected utility of preemptive reintervention in eyes with high-risk features was evaluated using decision analysis. Modifications were devised to enhance classification of advanced ROP.


ROP fully involuted in approximately 80% of eyes within 28 days of treatment. Vitreous organization meeting the study's clinically important definition was associated with a 31-fold (5.37 to 183.63; P < .0001) and a 13-fold (2.97 to 58.59; P < .0001) increase in the odds for retinal detachment for right and left eyes, respectively. Vitreous hemorrhage defined as clinically important was associated with a 38-fold (2.69 to 551.19; P = .007) and a 15-fold (1.65 to 144.12; P = .02) increase in the odds for retinal detachment for right and left eyes, respectively. As modeled, an expected utility of 0.85 was calculated for preemptive vitrectomy compared with 0.79 for deferred vitrectomy for eyes with clinically important vitreous organization.


Acute-phase ROP involuted quickly in most eyes. Vitreous organization and vitreous hemorrhage were predictive of eyes that developed a retinal detachment. Decision analysis suggests that preemptive vitrectomy for eyes with vitreous organization meeting specific criteria is not likely to be worse than deferred vitrectomy, and it could be advantageous in some scenarios.

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