[Retinopathy of the premature: Update in screening and treatment]

Rev Chil Pediatr. 2020 Feb;91(1):122-130. doi: 10.32641/rchped.v91i1.1079. Epub 2020 Jan 22.
[Article in Spanish]


Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is a proliferative disorder of the blood vessels of the immature retina, which affects mainly very-low-birth-weight infants (VLBW). The objective of this review is to describe to which infant the screening examination of this disease should be performed and to analy ze the recent advances in the treatment of this disease, which have emerged in the last decade. The detection of this disease is mainly focused on VLBW infants and newborns < 32 weeks of gestational age. In addition to laser photocoagulation, standard treatment today, new therapies have appeared, such as the anti-VEGF agents, which have been successfully used in the threshold ROP, especially located in zone I. This therapy is less harmful than laser photocoagulation and with better ocular results in the future. In recent years, oral propranolol has been used as a treatment for ROP in clinical trials, mainly in the pre-threshold stage (stage 2 or 3 in zone II or III). This drug is a beta-adrenergic blocker that can prevent the progression of retinopathy in pre-threshold to threshold stage and/or avoid the need for invasive therapies, such as laser photocoagulation or intravitreal administration of anti-VEGF agents. Laser photocoagulation continues to be the standard treatment for ROP. New treatments have emerged for ROP, such as anti-VEGF agents and oral propranolol, which could pre vent the progression of this disease from the pre-threshold to the threshold stage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Light Coagulation
  • Propranolol / therapeutic use
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / diagnosis*
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Adrenergic beta-Antagonists
  • VEGFA protein, human
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Propranolol