Maternal preeclampsia is associated with an increased risk of retinopathy of prematurity

J Perinat Med. 2011 Sep;39(5):523-7. doi: 10.1515/jpm.2011.071. Epub 2011 Aug 31.


Objective: To determine the effect of maternal preeclampsia on development and severity of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in preterm infants.

Methods: This prospective study consisted of two groups: the study group, which is composed of preterm infants (≤32 weeks) born to a mother with preeclampsia, and the comparison group, which is composed of preterm infants (≤32 gestational age) born to normotensive mothers. We used the International Classification of Retinopathy of Prematurity Revisited for classifying ROP. The first eye examination was performed at postnatal age of 4 weeks.

Results: A total of 385 infants were included in the study. ROP was diagnosed in 109 infants (28%). The incidence of ROP in infants born to preeclamptic mothers (40.5%) was significantly higher compared with those born to normotensive mothers (22.4%) (P<0.05). The number of infants with stage 1, 2, and 3 ROP was significantly higher in infants born to preeclamptic mothers compared with the control group (P<0.05). In multiple logistic regression model, preeclampsia was found to predict ROP (odds ratio 1.78, 95% confidence interval 0.66-1.90).

Conclusion: Maternal preeclampsia was found to be associated with increased ROP development risk in premature infants. ROP was also more severe in infants born to pre-eclamptic mothers. The role of maternal preeclampsia in the occurrence and severity of ROP remains to be elucidated.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Memory, Episodic
  • Pre-Eclampsia / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / classification
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / epidemiology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Turkey / epidemiology