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Invited Commentary
April 2018

Weighing in on New Screening Models for Retinopathy of Prematurity

Author Affiliations
  • 1Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2018;136(4):417-418. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.0359

Vision loss in any child can be devastating, and for infants born prematurely, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) continues to be an important cause of blindness. Current US guidelines recommend screening for all infants of gestational age (GA) 30 weeks or younger or birthweight (BW) 1500 g or less as well as for infants older than 30 weeks’ GA at the discretion of the neonatologist for those with an unstable clinical course. Identifying an infant with severe disease and providing treatment is a satisfying role for ophthalmologists who care for these infants. Yet, most infants (>90%) examined develop no, or only mild, retinopathy. Is there a way to safely refine the guidelines and reduce seemingly unnecessary examinations? Researchers have explored use of postnatal factors that may be associated with risk of severe ROP, and several models have been developed that incorporate postnatal weight gain.1