Severe retinopathy of prematurity in big babies in India: history repeating itself?

Shah, PK; Narendran, V; Kalpana, N; Gilbert, C; (2009) Severe retinopathy of prematurity in big babies in India: history repeating itself? Indian journal of pediatrics, 76 (8). pp. 801-4. ISSN 0019-5456 DOI:

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OBJECTIVE: To describe the characteristics of babies with severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) attending a tertiary referral eye hospital in South India. METHODS: Data on consecutive preterm infants with severe ROP presenting between July 2002 and October 2007 were retrieved from medical records. Severe ROP was defined as high risk prethreshold disease or worse. RESULTS: 144 babies with severe ROP were divided into two groups: group 1 had high risk prethreshold or threshold ROP while group 2 had stages 4 or 5 ROP. The overall mean gestational age was 30.7 weeks (range 25-35 weeks) and the mean birth weight was 1410 g (range 650-2310 g). Most babies had received unmonitored supplemental oxygen (ascertained through discussion with the treating pediatricians). CONCLUSION: More bigger and mature babies are developing severe ROP in South India than in industrialized countries. The characteristics of babies affected are similar to those seen during the first epidemic of ROP which occurred during the 1950s in Europe and North America. Guidelines on oxygenation and screening policies should be jointly developed by pediatricians and ophthalmologists to end this epidemic of avoidable blindness in India.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Research Centre: The International Centre for Evidence in Disability
International Centre for Eye Health
Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
PubMed ID: 19802548
Web of Science ID: 270450000002


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