Adequacy of published screening criteria for retinopathy of prematurity

Deepa A. Taranath, Dickson D.S. Oh, Miriam Keane, Helen Fabel, Peter Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Criteria for screening preterm infants for retinopathy of prematurity vary around the world. We aimed to analyse the efficacy of alternative screening criteria. Design: We collected retrospective data at a tertiary level neonatal nursery. Participants: Our participants were 1007 babies, born between 1997 and 2011, at <32weeks gestational age or <1500g birth weight (as recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council in 1996), who had completed follow-up to full retinal vascularization, with defined presence or absence of retinopathy of prematurity. Methods: We determined whether disease would be detected using an alternative Australian screening model (gestational age <30weeks or birth weight <1250g) or screening criteria utilized in developed countries with similar standards of neonatal care. Main Outcome Measures: Detection of retinopathy of prematurity is our main outcome. Results: Using several of the alternative criteria, two neonates with clinically significant retinopathy of prematurity, one of whom required laser treatment to preserve sight, would not have been screened, and their disease may have gone undetected. Use of <30weeks gestational age or <1500g birth weight as the criteria would still have screened these infants but would have reduced the number of infants screened by 24.9%. Conclusions: Some commonly utilized international screening criteria for retinopathy of prematurity may risk clinically significant cases being missed and others may screen babies unnecessarily. Alternative criteria should be considered and '<30weeks gestational age and/or <1500g birth weight' appears a viable option.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-127
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Baby
  • Birth weight
  • Gestational age
  • Retinopathy of prematurity
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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