Information for healthcare professionals about retinopathy of prematurity.

ROP is a potentially blinding disorder that can affect preterm infants of low gestational age and low birthweight.1 It is one of the few causes of childhood visual disability that is largely preventable.2 Premature birth stops the normal development of retinal vessels.3 Retinal detachment is the main cause of visual impairment and blindness in ROP.4

ROP affects two-thirds of babies weighing less than 1,251g. For the majority, ROP is mild and resolves on its own, but a small subset experience more severe disease and require treatment.2

In cases of severe ROP, timely treatment is essential to prevent severe visual impairment.2



  1. Adams GGW et al. BMJ Open 2017;7(3):e013366.
  2. Royal College of Ophthalmologists and Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. UK retinopathy of prematurity guideline. 2008. Available at: https://www.rcophth.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/2008-SCI-021-Guidel... [Accessed June 2020].
  3. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Retinopathy of Prematurity. 2020. Available at: https://eyewiki.aao.org/Retinopathy_of_Prematurity [Accessed July 2020].
  4. National Eye Institute. Retinopathy of prematurity 2019. Available at: https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseas... [Accessed July 2020].
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OPT20-E023c September 2020

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