Retinopathy in premature infants

This entry was posted by Saturday, 3 April, 2010
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Retinopathy of prematurity is a bilateral disease of the retinal vessels present in premature infants, some of whom were exposed to high postnatal oxygen concentrations. High oxygen concentration used in treating premature infants, esp. those weighing less than 1500 grams, causes vasoconstriction of the immature retinal vessels and eventually occlusion of the vessels. Fibrous proliferation and invasion of the vitreous may follow this. Retinal detachment may occur at that time or many years later. Blindness develops within several weeks. Other factors can gave an important role in the pathogenesis of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Apnea, asphyxia, sepsis, nutritional deficiencies, and a large number of blood transfusions given over a short period of time have all been related to ROP.

retinopathy of prematurity

Prevention is possible by using only the lowest possible effective oxygen concentration in treating premature infants. Thus, the lowest level possible without endangering the life of the infant is used. Too severe restriction of oxygen will increase the likelihood of hyaline membrane disease and neurologic disorders. All premature infants treated with supplemental oxygen should have careful examination by an ophthalmologist prior to discharge from the hospital. Once blindness develops, there is no effective treatment.

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2 Responses to “Retinopathy in premature infants”

  1. Admin_MedFrag

    We are glad to know you found value in our provided information.

  2. Here we know all too well about RSV and the scariness. My son has had it several times, when he was first born another ladies son next to me had it and she was supposed to keep him in isolation but she was wondering the halls and in and out of rooms. This was horrible but still not the worst case. His worst case was when he was three years old. The doctors at first did not even test because of his age, but after several days come to find out it was RSV. He was hospitalized for some time, his oxygen level was so low he had to wear a mask at all times, had iv’s in and honestly he was so week he could barely move. I had never been so terrified. Thank you for sharing and helping people become more aware.


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