Relationship between hyperglycemia and retinopathy of prematurity in very low birth weight infants

Biol Neonate. 2006;89(1):56-9. doi: 10.1159/000088199. Epub 2005 Sep 8.


Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a multifactorial vasoproliferative retinal disorder that increases in incidence with decreasing gestational age. Recently, an association between hyperglycemia and severe ROP was found in extremely low birth weight infants (ELBWI). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possible relation between hyperglycemia and ROP at any stage in very low birth weight infants (VLBWI). We analyzed the data of 201 VLBWI. The incidence of ROP and hyperglycemia was detected and the chi2 test was applied to investigate the association between the two variables. The Clinical Risk Index for Babies (CRIB) score was attributed as a marker of illness severity. The incidence of ROP and hyperglycemia in VLBWI was 35.3 and 19.4%, respectively. ROP developed more frequently in hyperglycemic infants (p < 0.001). The gestational age, birth weight, and Apgar scores were significantly lower, the CRIB score was higher in ROP patients. In hyperglycemic ROP patients the CRIB score was significantly higher compared to euglycemic ROP patients (mean (SD) 8.1 (4.2) vs. 5.5 (3.3); p < 0.01). A logistic regression model revealed that gestational age (OR 0.59; 95% CI 0.46-0.76; p < 0.001) and hyperglycemia (OR 3.15; 95% CI 1.12-8.84; p < 0.05) are independent risk factors in ROP development. When ELBWI were analyzed separately, gestational age (OR 0.38; 95% CI 0.20-0.72; p < 0.01) and CRIB score (OR 1.58; 95% CI 1.02-2.45; p < 0.05) were found as significant contributors. Further studies are needed to elucidate the pathophysiological role of hyperglycemia in the development of vasoproliferative retinal disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Apgar Score
  • Birth Weight
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / complications*
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Logistic Models
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / complications*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / epidemiology