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The Incidence and Risk Factors of Severe Retinopathy of Prematurity in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants in Turkey

Ali Riza Cenk Celebi, Ikbal Seza Petricli, Emre Hekimoglu, Nihal Demirel, Ahmet Yagmur Bas

Department of Ophthalmology, Nigde State Hospital, Nigde, Turkey

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:1647-1653

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.892262

Available online:

Published: 2014-09-15

Background: The aim of this study was to identify the incidence of severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) requiring laser treatment and the overall incidence of ROP in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants, and to evaluate the associated risk factors for developing severe ROP in ELBW infants in Turkey.
Material and Methods: This retrospective, case-control, tertiary care-hospital based study included 235 ELBW infants screened for ROP. The incidence of the onset of ROP and severe ROP requiring laser treatment were assessed. The relationship between various clinical risk factors, and the development of severe ROP and onset of ROP were analyzed using univariate analysis and multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Results: The overall incidence of any stage ROP and severe ROP requiring laser treatment in ELBW infants was 75.5% and 38.7%, respectively. Severe ROP requiring laser treatment in ELBW infants was significantly associated with various independent risk factors, including blood transfusion (P=0.002), gestational age at birth (P<0.001), ges- tational weight at birth (P=0.001), culture-proven sepsis (P=0.047).
Conclusions: The severity of ROP may increase as weight at birth and gestational age at birth decrease, and in those with culture-proven sepsis as well as in those that receive blood transfusion. Clinicians should be aware of the presence of these risk factors when treating ELBW premature infants. Early detection and prevention of sepsis and reducing the number of blood transfusions may decrease the incidence of severe ROP requiring laser treatment.

Keywords: Gestational Age, Disease Progression, Incidence, Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight - physiology, Infant, Newborn, Logistic Models, Multivariate Analysis, Retinopathy of Prematurity - epidemiology, Risk Factors, Turkey - epidemiology