Vitamin E therapy in retinopathy of prematurity

Eye (Lond). 1992;6 ( Pt 2):221-5. doi: 10.1038/eye.1992.43.


Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant and as a result it is able to scavenge free radicals derived from oxygen. The premature infant and the retina are likely to be particularly vulnerable to the deleterious effects of these oxygen derived free radicals, and as a result prophylactic vitamin E has been suggested for the management of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). However, despite numerous trials, prophylactic supplementation with vitamin E remains controversial. This paper will critically review the use of vitamin E in ROP and consider the risk/benefit relationship of such treatment in premature infants.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Free Radicals / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / drug therapy*
  • Vitamin E / adverse effects
  • Vitamin E / metabolism
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*


  • Free Radicals
  • Vitamin E