Purpose Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is the cessation of normal eye development and subsequent abnormal vessel growth that occurs exclusively in premature infants. There is no standardized approach for the ophthalmic care follow-up of children screened for ROP. We report the ocular findings at 12 months in preterm and low birthweight babies screened for ROP over a 5-year period (2001–2006).
Methods 225 babies were retrospectively reviewed for birth details, maternal details, presence of ROP, and findings at follow-up screening which included visual acuity, refraction at 12 months, presence of squint, and any other ocular problems.
Results At 1 year follow-up, 21% of ROP positive children failed a screening visit because of squint (8%), refractive error (8%), and optic nerve abnormalities (5%). At 1 year follow-up, 15% of ROP negative children had failed a screening visit because of squint (6%), refractive error (6%), and other pathology (3%).
Conclusions Screening of all babies with ROP at 12 months is recommended to identify amblyogenic factors such as squint and refractive error. Parents of infants who do not develop ROP should be advised of the increased risk of visual problems in their children and to have their child examined in the preschool period.
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