Purpose: To report on the clinical characteristics and outcomes of premature infants developing signs of anterior segment ischemia after laser therapy for threshold retinopathy of prematurity treated or referred to a university institution.
Methods: A retrospective review of the medical records of premature infants with a primary diagnosis of retinopathy of prematurity undergoing laser therapy for threshold disease from January 1, 2001, to June 1, 2006.
Results: A total of 10 eyes in six patients were identified that developed signs of anterior segment ischemia for which a 1-year follow-up was available. The mean gestational age of patients developing anterior segment ischemia was 26.1 weeks. The mean weight was 855 g. The mean gestational age when laser photoablation was initiated was 36.3 weeks. All infants developing ischemia were treated with intermittent dense laser pattern using the diode laser. No infants treated thus far with confluent laser pattern have developed anterior segment ischemia.
Conclusion: Confluent laser pattern in our experience does not predispose to anterior segment ischemia. Anterior segment ischemia primarily affects premature infants less than 28 weeks gestational age with low birthweights, less than 1,075 g. Intravitreal steroids at the time of pars plana vitrectomy and lensectomy may be beneficial in selected patients.