Purpose: To provide long-term follow-up on the structural status and visual function at 5 1/2 years of age for 128 eyes of 98 infants who participated in the multicenter randomized clinical trial of cryotherapy for retinopathy of prematurity in whom total retinal detachment developed from retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) by the 3-month study examination. Fifty-four patients had lensectomy-vitrectomy procedures in one or both eyes before 1 year of age (n=72 eyes), and 44 patients did not (n=56 eyes).
Methods: When the children were 5 1/2 years of age, an eye examination was performed and residua of ROP was assessed. Recognition acuity (Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart) and grating visual acuity (Teller acuity card procedure) assessments were undertaken by testers who were masked to the status of each of the child's eyes.
Results: At least partial retinal attachment was present at 5 1/2 years in 21% compared with 28% at 1 year of age (not significant). All except one of the eyes tested at 5 1/2 years had vision limited to light perception or no light perception, regardless of whether a vitrectomy had been performed. One eye that underwent vitrectomy had minimal pattern vision. The two eyes that were reported previously to have minimal pattern vision at 1 year of age were blind at the longer-term follow-up.
Conclusions: The poor visual outcome after a lensectomy-vitrectomy procedure for retinal detachment due to ROP demands that emphasis be placed on prevention of retinal detachment in premature infants.