Background: This study aims to investigate the incidence and the relative risk factors of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and posterior-ROP (P-ROP): ROP in Zone I and posterior Zone II, as well as to analyze the occurrence of surgical treatment of ROP and to evaluate the short term outcome of the disease in Italy.
Methods: It is a prospective multicenter observational study; all infants with a birth weight (BW) ≤ 750 g and/or a gestational age (GA) ≤27 weeks born between January 1st 2008 and December 31st 2009 in 25 III level Italian neonatal intensive care units were eligible for the study.
Results: 421 infants were examined: 265 (62.9%) developed ROP and 102 (24.2%) P-ROP.
Conclusions: P-ROP is the most aggressive type of ROP. It associates with lower GA and sepsis. Obstetricians and Neonatologists must focus on the reduction of severe preterm births and on the prevention of neonatal early and late onset sepsis in order to reduce the incidence of P-ROP.