Detection of clinically significant retinopathy of prematurity using wide-angle digital retinal photography: a report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology

Ophthalmology. 2012 Jun;119(6):1272-80. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2012.01.002. Epub 2012 Apr 27.


Objective: To evaluate the accuracy of detecting clinically significant retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) using wide-angle digital retinal photography.

Methods: Literature searches of PubMed and the Cochrane Library databases were conducted last on December 7, 2010, and yielded 414 unique citations. The authors assessed these 414 citations and marked 82 that potentially met the inclusion criteria. These 82 studies were reviewed in full text; 28 studies met inclusion criteria. The authors extracted from these studies information about study design, interventions, outcomes, and study quality. After data abstraction, 18 were excluded for study deficiencies or because they were superseded by a more recent publication. The methodologist reviewed the remaining 10 studies and assigned ratings of evidence quality; 7 studies were rated level I evidence and 3 studies were rated level III evidence.

Results: There is level I evidence from ≥5 studies demonstrating that digital retinal photography has high accuracy for detection of clinically significant ROP. Level III studies have reported high accuracy, without any detectable complications, from real-world operational programs intended to detect clinically significant ROP through remote site interpretation of wide-angle retinal photographs.

Conclusions: Wide-angle digital retinal photography has the potential to complement standard ROP care. It may provide advantages through objective documentation of clinical examination findings, improved recognition of disease progression by comparing previous photographs, and the creation of image libraries for education and research.

Financial disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Academies and Institutes / organization & administration
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Ophthalmology / organization & administration*
  • Photography / instrumentation*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis*
  • Technology Assessment, Biomedical / organization & administration*
  • United States