Hypoxic oxygen fluctuations produce less severe retinopathy than hyperoxic fluctuations in a rat model of retinopathy of prematurity

Pediatr Res. 2004 Jan;55(1):107-13. doi: 10.1203/01.PDR.0000099772.66376.02. Epub 2003 Oct 15.


The aim of this study was to investigate whether the mean around which arterial oxygen fluctuations take place was important in a unique animal model of oxygen-induced retinopathy. Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is associated with fluctuating arterial oxygen. A recent retrospective study suggested that management of high-risk preterm infants at lower oxygen saturations was associated with less severe ROP. Rat pups were raised in a variable oxygen environment around a high (24%), normal (21%) or low (17%) mean inspired oxygen for 14 d. Rat pups raised in the high (24%) mean variable oxygen environment had more retarded retinal vascular development than did rats raised in an environment that fluctuated around 21% mean oxygen. In contrast, rats raised in a lower mean (17%) but still variable oxygen environment had no discernible retinal differences from controls raised in constant room air. Rats raised in a relatively hypoxic but variable oxygen environment develop less severe retinal vascular abnormalities than those raised in variable oxygen around higher oxygen means.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Hyperoxia / complications*
  • Hyperoxia / metabolism*
  • Hyperoxia / pathology
  • Hypoxia / complications*
  • Hypoxia / metabolism*
  • Hypoxia / pathology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lectins
  • Rats
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retina / pathology
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / etiology*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / metabolism*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / pathology
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Lectins