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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Jun;67(6):846-853. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_469_19.

Retinal immaturity at first screening and retinopathy of prematurity: Image-based validation of 1202 eyes of premature infants to predict disease progression.

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Department of Pediatric Retina, Narayana Nethralaya Eye Institute, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Advanced Eye Center, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.
Department of Ophthalmology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.



To use the extent of retinal immaturity at the first visit to predict progression to any stage and treatment-requiring retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).


Retrospective, multicenter, nonrandomized, observational, clinical, validation study. In all, 601 Asian Indian preterm infants born < 2000 g and/or < 34 weeks of gestation completing ROP screening with RetCam images taken during each visit were included. A total of 1202 eyes of these infants were classified into three groups based on the retinal immaturity at the first screening visit into "mild" (Group 1), vessels reaching the posterior boundary of zone 3; "moderate" (Group 2), vessels entering zone 2 anterior; and "severe" (Group 3), vessels in zone 1 or zone 2 posterior. RetCam images at each subsequent visit were evaluated and the proportion of eyes that progressed to Type 1 or Type 2 ROP was correlated with the degree of retinal immaturity.


Of the 958 eyes in Group 1, 200 eyes in Group 2, and 44 eyes in Group 3, any stage ROP developed in 15% of eyes in Group 1, 46.5% of eyes in Group 2, and 100% of eyes in Group 3 (P < 0.001). Sixteen of 128 eyes (12.5%), 12 of 72 (16.6%), and 28 of 44 of eyes (63.6%) in Groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively, required treatment (P < 0.001).


Retinal immaturity at first screening visit predicts Type 1 and Type 2 ROP. "Severe" immaturity is more likely to progress to "treatment-requiring" disease. This could be a useful tool for prognostication, counseling, and scheduling follow-up.


ROP; Retinal immaturity; TAR; retinopathy of prematurity; temporal avascular retina

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