Objective: To prospectively study the incidence and nature of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) at a University Hospital in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Methods: This study was carried out the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of King Khalid University Hospital in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. One hundred and ninety-five consecutive preterm infants with a birth weight of 2000 g or less were screened for ROP. The first examination was performed at 4-7 weeks of postnatal age.
Results: Mean gestational age of all premature infants was 28.4 2.4 weeks (range 22-34), mean birth weight was 1103 302 g (range 520-1960), and mean duration of oxygen therapy was 24.0 32.2 days (range 0-210). Seventy-three children developed acute ROP, giving an overall incidence of 37.4%. The incidence in preterms with birth weight of <1500 g and <1250 g was 41% and 50.7%. No infants with a birth weight of >1500 g developed ROP. Nineteen of the 73 children with ROP (26% or 9.7% of all infants studied) reached threshold ROP, and needed laser treatment or cryotherapy which induced regression in all of patients.
Conclusion: Incidence of ROP in our patients in comparable to other reports. Screening for ROP should be carried out for all preterms of <1500 g birth weight. Such screening programs will identify those requiring retinal ablative surgery in order to induce regression of the acute ROP and prevent cicatrizing sequelae with subsequent traction retinal detachment and blindness.