The conflicting views on the role of oxygen in the pathogenesis of retrolental fibroplasia have created much confusion. Two studies made at the Philadelphia General Hospital have already been reported.* One study was based on the uncontrolled use of oxygen. The second study utilized controlled oxygen environments for premature infants with birth weights below 1.8 kg. (4 lb.). Both studies showed that the incidence and severity of retrolental fibroplasia are significantly increased by the use of greater oxygen supplements and the rapid reduction in the oxygen concentration of the infant's environment. Additional data were presented to support the hypothesis that the major precipitating factor in the disease was the improper withdrawal of supplemental oxygen. It was, however, clearly stated that the direct effects of oxygen were also of importance.
The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of the following factors:
Rapid and slow withdrawal of supplemental oxygen
BEDROSSIAN RH, CARMICHAEL P, RITTER JA. Effect of Oxygen Weaning in Retrolental Fibroplasia. AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1955;53(4):514-518. doi:10.1001/archopht.1955.00930010520008