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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Dec 19;54(13):8229-36. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-12297.

Screening for retinopathy of prematurity in China: a neonatal units-based prospective study.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Xinhua Hospital affiliated with Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.



To analyze the incidence and severity of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in China, and to explore the workload implications of applying different criteria.


A prospective, neonatal units-based study undertaken in two tertiary level hospitals in Shanghai, China, from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012. All infants with birth weight (BW) of 2000 g or less and/or gestational age (GA) of 34 weeks or less were screened for ROP. Retinopathy of prematurity was classified using the international classification, and was treated in accordance with the recommendations of the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Cooperative Group.


A total of 2825 (93.7%) of 3014 eligible infants were screened, and ROP was diagnosed in 503 infants (17.8%). One hundred ninety-one infants (6.8%) had type 1 or worse ROP and were treated with laser or vitrectomy. The mean GA of ROP patients was 29.9 ± 2.1 weeks and their mean BW was 1425 ± 266 g. Infants who needed treatment for ROP had a mean GA of 29.3 ± 2.1 weeks and mean BW of 1331 ± 330 g. Among these treated infants, 18 infants (9.4%) exceeded the United Kingdom's (UK) screening criteria, and 28 (14.7%) exceeded the criteria used in the United States (US). If narrower criteria, as in GA less than or equal to 33 weeks and/or BW less than or equal to 1750 g were adopted, almost 16.9% fewer infants would not have been examined, with no infant missing treatment.


Larger, older infants are at risk in China and screening criteria used in the US and UK may not be suitable for China. Further population-based studies are recommended to determine the necessity of modifying the current ROP screening protocol.


China; retinopathy of prematurity; screening criteria

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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