Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is characterised by insufficient vascular development in the retina, and requires early treatment to avoid visual disability in severe cases. ROP is currently the second leading cause of preventable child blindness in the world.
This was an observational, retrospective, case-control study including 233 preterm infants examined between 1999 and 2019.
Postnatal weight gain in the first 4 weeks of life, birth weight, gestational age, mechanical ventilation, transfusion, presence of sepsis, persistence of arterial ductus, necrotising enterocolitis, intraventricular haemorrhage, or periventricular leukomalacia were found to be significantly different between the ROP groups requiring and not requiring treatment. The mean postnatal weight gain in the ROP group not requiring treatment was 12.75±5.99g/day, whereas it was 9.50±5.45g/day in the ROP group requiring treatment. The risk of developing ROP that required treatment decreased with an increase in weight gain. The risk reduction was 2.76 – 8.35% in preterm infants gaining 10g/day, and 7.17 – 12.76% in infants gaining 20g/day.
The risk of developing ROP requiring treatment decreased with increasing weight gain in the first 4 weeks of life. This was applicable in infants with postnatal weight gain ≥ 14g/day. However, gestational age, birth weight, time of mechanical ventilation, and comorbidity should be taken into account when evaluating the risk of ROP requiring treatment.

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