Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), also known as retrolental fibroplasia (RLF), is a disease of the eye that affects prematurely born babies. It is thought to be caused by disorganised growth of retinal blood vessels resulting in scarring and retinal detachment. more...
ROP can be mild and may resolve spontaneously, but may lead to blindness in serious cases. Oxygen toxicity may contribute to the development of ROP.
International Classification of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ICROP)
The system used for described the findings of ROP is entitled, The International Classification of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ICROP). ICROP "demarcated the location of the disease into zones (1, 2, and 3) of the retina, the extent of the disease based on the clock hours (1-12), and the severity of the disease into stages (0-5)" .
Symptoms and prognosis
In preterm infants, the retina is often not fully formed. ROP occurs when abnormal tissue forms between the central and peripheral retina. There are 5 progressive stages to ROP. Stage 1 is mild and may resolve on its own without severe vision loss; stage 5 is severe and usually results in retinal detachment.
Multiple factors can determine how fast a patient progresses through the stages, including overall health, birth weight, the stage of ROP at initial diagnosis, and the presence or absence of "plus" disease. "Plus" disease occurs when the abnormal vessels in the retina invade other areas of the eye, greatly increasing the risk of retinal detachment.
The abnormal vessel growth often subsides spontaneously, but can progress to retinal detachment and vision loss in patients with extremely low birth weight. Patients with ROP are at greater risk for glaucoma, cataracts and myopia later in life, and should be examined yearly to help prevent and treat these conditions.
- "Indirect laser"
- scleral buckle and/or vitrectomy may be considered for severe ROP with retinal detachment
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