Purpose: To determine differences in incidence of retinopathy of prematurity between neonates of multiple-gestation and single-gestation pregnancies and to analyze differences in severity of retinopathy of prematurity among siblings of multiple-gestation pregnancies.
Methods: We reviewed the records of 149 neonates of multiple-gestation pregnancies and 691 single-gestation neonates screened for retinopathy of prematurity at one hospital from January 1, 1992, through December 31, 1995. The peak stage of retinopathy of prematurity was recorded for all infants. The multiple-gestation infants were then separated into concordant and discordant retinopathy of prematurity groups, with discordance defined as a difference of at least 2 stages of retinopathy of prematurity between siblings. Between siblings with discordant retinopathy of prematurity, multiple factors were compared.
Results: Retinopathy of prematurity was present in 69 (46%) of the multiple-gestation neonates. Retinopathy of prematurity was present in 312 (45%) of single-birth neonates. The percentage of multiple-gestation neonates with stages 1, 2, or 3 (prethreshold) or threshold retinopathy of prematurity was similar to that of single-gestation neonates. Stage 4 or 5 retinopathy of prematurity did not occur in either group.
Conclusions: There was no significant difference in stage of retinopathy of prematurity between infants of single-gestation pregnancies vs those of multiple-gestation pregnancies. The majority (84%) of infants of multiple-gestation pregnancies had concordant retinopathy of prematurity. In those infants with discordant disease, zygosity and postgestational factors other than lowest serum glucose were not related to severity of retinopathy of prematurity.