Purpose: To determine the gestational age and birth weight of premature babies who developed vision-threatening severe retinopathy of prematurity.
Design: Prospective observational study of babies at risk of blindness due to retinopathy of prematurity.
Methods: Data pertaining to all babies who underwent laser treatment or surgery for acute retinopathy of prematurity and those who had cicatricial retinopathy of prematurity were prospectively collected. The gestational age and birth weight were evaluated to establish screening criteria.
Results: In 120 babies, the mean gestational age was 29.6 weeks (range 26 to 36 weeks). The birth weight of 115 babies ranged from 710 to 2000 g (mean 1254.5 g, SD 280.8). Birth weight was not available for five babies. Only one baby had a gestational age of >35 weeks.
Conclusions: Ocular morbidity related to retinopathy of prematurity was seen in bigger and more mature babies. This study provides a scientific basis for establishing screening criteria for retinopathy of prematurity in South India and other middle-income countries.