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October 1981

Reemergence of Retrolental Fibroplasia

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio

Arch Ophthalmol. 1981;99(10):1867. doi:10.1001/archopht.1981.03930020741022

To the Editor.  —The history of the management of retrolental fibroplasia (RLF) reflects a paradox of modern medicine: improvement of care in one specialty often results in complex problems in another. Thus, the development of oxygen (O2) therapy to promote survival in the premature infant has paralleled closely the iatrogeny of RLF.As the lifesaving benefits of O2 therapy became known, its use became universally advocated, so by 1948, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended 40% to 50% O2 for all premature infants immediately after birth to be continued for a period from 12 hours to as long as one month.1 Although the first case of RLF was diagnosed by Terry2 in 1942, more than a decade was to pass before a causal relationship between O2 therapy and RLF would be proved in a series of three controlled clinical trials conducted from 1951 to