From January 1986 to December 1991 we examined the eyes of 206 infants born at Westmead Hospital, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who were less than 29 weeks' gestation at birth to determine the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity. Eighty-five infants (41.3%) had no retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in either eye, 82 infants had stages 1 or 2 ROP (39.8%), 29 had stage 3 ROP (14.1%) and 11 had stage 4 ROP (5.3%). Of these, cryotherapy was performed in 18; six now have bilateral retinal detachment and are blind. The more severe stages of ROP were significantly associated with an increase in the number of days of oxygen supplementation, an increase in the number of days of mechanical ventilation and the presence of patent ductus arteriosus. Infants receiving steroids for mechanical ventilator dependence had a significantly greater chance of requiring cryotherapy (11 or 22 receiving steroids versus seven of 43 without steroids; P < 0.01).