Retinopathy of Prematurity
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- Proliferative disorder of the retinal blood vessels in premature infants: The normal retinal vascularization occurs nasally at ~36 weeks’ gestational age and temporally at ~40 weeks’ gestational age.
- System(s) affected: Nervous
- Synonym(s): ROP; Retrolental fibroplasia
- 65.8% of infants weighing <1,251 g at birth and 81.6% of those weighing <1,000 g
- Predominant age: Premature infants
- Predominant sex: Male = Female
- Low birth weight
- Supplemental oxygen; once the retina becomes fully vascularized, oxygen does not affect the retina.
- Supplemental oxygen given to premature infants with moderate ROP will not make the retinopathy worse.
African American infants appear less susceptible.
Oxidative processes (influenced by high levels of arterial oxygen) in immature retina may be an important causative factor.
Commonly Associated Conditions
Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome