Does My Child Really Need to Wear These Glasses? A Review of Retinopathy of Prematurity and Long-Term Outcomes

Dawn R. Kuerschner, MS, NNP, RNC


NAINR. 2003;3(3) 

In This Article


It is difficult to accurately evaluate the number of infants adversely affected by ROP because there is no organized reporting system for such data. Prognosis for the individual infant is uncertain because of the wide range of potential long-term complications. Stabilization of ROP may take up to 1 year, but visual outcomes are usually apparent by 3 months of age.[7]

ROP initially noted in Zone 1 usually results in a worse prognosis and long-term complications than ROP that is found further from the visual center. ROP initially seen in Zone 3 is usually mild and affords a full recovery. Infants weighing less than 1,250 grams at birth have a 6% chance of developing threshold ROP requiring surgical intervention. Without treatment, 50% of these infants will go blind; with treatment, approximately 30% will go blind.[1] Only 20% of eyes reaching threshold, with or without intervention, will go on to reach a visual acuity of 20/40 or better.[40] Surgical treatment in Zone 1, extreme prematurity, and severe ROP may lead to the development of macular degeneration with visual loss.[41]


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