Retinoschisis detected with handheld spectral-domain optical coherence tomography in neonates with advanced retinopathy of prematurity

Arch Ophthalmol. 2010 Jan;128(1):57-62. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2009.361.


Objectives: The recent development of handheld spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (HHSD-OCT) has enabled us to obtain high-resolution retinal scans of premature infants with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The purpose of this study is to document HHSD-OCT findings in laser-treated neonates with progressive ROP.

Methods: This is a retrospective consecutive case series of 3 patients with progressive ROP despite laser photocoagulation. All patients were transferred from peripheral neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) to the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. All patients had a complete ocular examination, fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and HHSD-OCT.

Results: All 3 patients had active progressive ROP despite prior laser photocoagulation. Of the 6 eyes, 1 was excluded from the study because it had an exudative retinal detachment following laser photocoagulation. Retinal detachment was not detected on clinical examination in the 5 remaining eyes, although there was vitreoretinal traction at the ridges of 3 of the 5 eyes. The HHSD-OCT identified presumed retinoschisis in all 5 study eyes.

Conclusions: Tractional retinoschisis may be an important finding in progressive laser-treated ROP, made possible by use of the HHSD-OCT. This finding may have significant implications for how we classify and treat patients whose ROP is progressing despite laser treatment. Furthermore, the use of the HHSD-OCT can provide valuable insight into the interaction of the retina, vitreous, and ridge in patients with progressive ROP, and it allows shallow detachments and retinoschisis to be diagnosed earlier and more accurately than would otherwise be possible.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological / instrumentation
  • Disease Progression
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Laser Coagulation
  • Male
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / physiopathology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / surgery
  • Retinoschisis / diagnosis*
  • Retinoschisis / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*