Lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation in preterm infants to prevent retinopathy of prematurity: a randomized controlled study

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012 May;25(5):523-7. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2011.629252. Epub 2011 Nov 18.


Objectives: Lutein and its isomer zeaxanthin (L/Z) function in the eye as antioxidant agents and blue-light filters. Our aim was to evaluate whether their administration could help decrease the occurrence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in preterm infants.

Methods: Infants with gestational age ≤32 weeks were randomly assigned to receive a daily dose of L/Z (0.14 + 0.006 mg) or placebo until discharge.

Results: ROP occurrence was similar in the L/Z (11/58; 19%) and placebo (15/56; 27%) groups, as the occurrence of ROP at each stage and the need of eye surgery.

Conclusion: L/Z supplementation was ineffective in preventing ROP in preterm infants and did not affect the outcome at discharge of our patients.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Logistic Models
  • Lutein / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / etiology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / prevention & control*
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Xanthophylls / therapeutic use*
  • Zeaxanthins


  • Antioxidants
  • Drug Combinations
  • Xanthophylls
  • Zeaxanthins
  • Lutein

Associated data

  • ISRCTN/ISRCTN10624844