A predictive score for retinopathy of prematurity in very low birth weight preterm infants

Eye (Lond). 2012 Mar;26(3):400-6. doi: 10.1038/eye.2011.334. Epub 2011 Dec 23.


Aims: This study describes the development of a score based on cumulative risk factors for the prediction of severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) comparing the performance of the score against the birth weight (BW) and gestational age (GA) in order to predict the onset of ROP.

Methods: A prospective cohort of preterm infants with BW≤ 1500 g and/or GA≤ 32 weeks was studied. The score was developed based on BW, GA, proportional weight gain from birth to the 6th week of life, use of oxygen in mechanical ventilation, and need for blood transfusions from birth to the 6th week of life. The score was established after linear regression, considering the impact of each variable on the occurrences of any stage and severe ROP. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used to determine the best sensitivity and specificity values for the score. All variables were entered into an Excel spreadsheet (Microsoft) for practical use by ophthalmologists during screening sessions.

Results: The sample included 474 patients. The area under the ROC curve for the score was 0.77 and 0.88 to predict any stage and severe ROP, respectively. These values were significantly higher for the score than for BW (0.71) and GA (0.69) when measured separately.

Conclusions: ROPScore is an excellent index of neonatal risk factors for ROP, which is easy to record and more accurate than BW and GA to predict any stage ROP or severe ROP in preterm infants. The scoring system is simple enough to be routinely used by ophthalmologists during screening examination for detection of ROP.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • ROC Curve
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Severity of Illness Index*