Effect of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor on the incidence of threshold retinopathy of prematurity

J AAPOS. 2009 Oct;13(5):450-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2009.07.007.


Purpose: To study the effect of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (GCSF) on the incidence of threshold retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).

Methods: A retrospective chart review of all neonates who received GCSF at our neonatal intensive care unit over a period ranging from January 2003 to September 2007 was performed. Of the 213 patients identified, 50 patients with birth weight <1,500 g and gestational age <32 weeks were included in this study. The incidence of threshold ROP in this subset was compared to a control group (n = 161) obtained from Vermont Oxford Network ROP database over the same time period. The two data sets were cross-referenced to exclude any patient receiving GCSF from the control data.

Results: The average birth weight was 913 g in GCSF patients and 847 g in controls. The average dose of GCSF was 10.4 microg (range, 1.2-21.6 microg). The average age at administration of GCSF was 12 days after birth (range, 0-34 days). Out of 50 patients in the GCSF group, 5 (10%) required laser treatment, whereas in the contol group, 30 (18.6 %) required laser treatment; this difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: There was a suggestion of a decreased incidence of threshold ROP, leading to reduced need for laser treatment, in patients who received GCSF, but the observed differences were not statistically significant. The authors anticipate that these findings will lead to further study of the upstream regulators of neovascularization.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laser Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity* / drug therapy
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity* / epidemiology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity* / prevention & control
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor