This is a retrospective study performed at Seoul St Mary’s Hospital between the period of January 2009 to December 2013. The study was to determine the incidence and clinical features of, and risk factors for, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in Korean infants with birth weight (BW) >1500g. The incidence of ROP was 11.94% and that of treatment-requiring ROP was 3.98%. Two patients with gestational age (GA) >32 weeks and birth weight >1500g had treatment-requiring ROP. Fifteen eyes from eight patients with Type 1 ROP required laser photocoagulation treatment. The mean birth weights and gestational ages in the treatment-requiring ROP group were significantly lower than those in the no or mild ROP group. The total duration of oxygen supplementation, surfactant usage, respiratory distress syndrome, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, antibiotic use for more than 14 days and the number of ROP-associated risk factor significantly increased the likelihood of treatment-requiring ROP (p=0.002, p=0.008, p=0.008, p=0.000, p=0.015, and p=0.004, respectively). In this present study, GA of infants with any ROP was significantly lower than that of infants without ROP. It implies that GA should be considered as an independent factor, indicating retinal maturity for the prediction of ROP development, irrespective of the BW. The BW and gestational age of the largest preterm infants with treatment-requiring ROP were 1.73kg and 33 3/7 weeks, respectively. Based on the results, the upper birth weight limit of 1750g in Korean ROP screening criteria would have ensured that none of the treatment-requiring ROP infants were overlooked. At the same time, it would have avoided unnecessary screening in 105 infants (52.2%). The authors reported the limitations of this study, included it is hospital based, retrospective study in nature using a small sample of infants from a single institute of a fixed period. They recommended a future multi-centre prospective study to help to provide proper screening guidelines with increased relevance for Korea. 

Retinopathy of prematurity in Korean infants with birthweight greater than 1500g.
Park SH, Yum HR, Kim S, et al.
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Jonathan Chan

Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, UK.

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