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September 1954


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Texas School of Medicine.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1954;88(3):356-361. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1954.02050100358010

RETROLENTAL fibroplasia is now the commonest late complication of extremely premature birth. Until 15 years ago, blindness from this cause was so rare that the disease was not recognized. Terry,1 in 1942, wrote the first descriptions of retrolental fibroplasia as an entity and later named the disease.2 Since that time, the literature about this form of infantile blindness has grown rapidly, and many investigators have sought the nature of the pathology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, etiologic factors, and therapeusis of the disease.

HISTORY  We are indebted to Terry not only for first calling our attention to retrolental fibroplasia, but also for pointing out the etiologic factor3 that has borne the test of time—prematurity. It is now agreed that the greater the degree of prematurity, the greater the incidence of retrolental fibroplasia.4 Owens and Owens7 described the clinical pathogenesis of the disease: a vascular phenomenon, characterized by

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