Medical College of Wisconsin
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Optimal timing of retina examinations for premature infants. J Formos Med Assoc 1998 Aug;97(8):552-6



Pubmed ID



Developments in modern neonatal intensive care have resulted in increased survival of very premature infants. Along with this increase in survival, there has been a concomitant increase in the frequency of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). We investigated the relationship between the severity and the time course of ROP as well as the optimal time for retinal examinations of premature infants of various birth weights and gestational ages. A total of 80 premature infants were enrolled for analysis. The mean postnatal age of infants at the time of diagnosis was 7.3 +/- 3.4 weeks for stage 1 retinopathy, 9.2 +/- 5.8 for stage 2 retinopathy, 9.5 +/- 3.8 for stage 3 retinopathy, 10.7 +/- 3.7 for threshold disease, and 11.7 +/- 3.2 for stage 4 retinopathy. The mean postconceptional age of infants at the time of diagnosis was 35 +/- 3 for stage 1 retinopathy, 36.4 +/- 3 for stage 2 retinopathy, 37.6 +/- 3.5 for stage 3 retinopathy, 38.4 +/- 3.5 for threshold disease, and 40 +/- 3.7 for stage 4 retinopathy. The age at the time of the initial detection of ROP was from the ninth to 10th week among infants weighing less than 1,000 g at birth and from the fifth to seventh week among those weighing 1,000 g or more at birth. However, the postconceptional age at the time of initial detection of ROP for the whole group was 36 weeks and was not influenced by birth weight or gestational age. Therefore, we suggest that postconceptional age, rather than postnatal age, should be used to decide the timing of retinal examinations for premature infants.

Author List

Chen HJ, Teng RJ, Tsou Yau KI, Yang CM


Ru-Jeng Teng MD Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature
Retinopathy of Prematurity
Survival Rate
Time Factors
jenkins-FCD Prod-486 e3098984f26de787f5ecab75090d0a28e7f4f7c0