Adult retinopathy of prematurity: treatment implications, long term sequelae, and management : Current Opinion in Ophthalmology

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RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY: NICU TO ADULTHOOD: Edited by Audina Berrocal and Antonio Capone Jr.

Adult retinopathy of prematurity: treatment implications, long term sequelae, and management

Chang, Emmanuela,b; Rao, Prethya,b

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Current Opinion in Ophthalmology 32(5):p 489-493, September 2021. | DOI: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000787


Purpose of review 

Classically, ROP has been considered a neonatal disease only; however, pediatric ophthalmologists and retinal specialists worldwide are recently facing a new paradigm shift. retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is now considered a lifelong disease that extends well into adulthood. The purpose of this review is to describe the adult ROP anatomy and discuss the late sequelae and management of this disease.

Recent findings 

Neonatal ROP treatments affect both anterior and posterior segment anatomy. Anterior segment changes secondary to inflammation and posterior ciliary nerve ablation range from acute to chronic pathology, including cataract, secondary glaucoma, and corneal decompensation. Persistent avascular retina can be present in previously treated Type 1 ROP eyes after anti-vascular endothelial growth factor or in ’normal’ untreated eyes that did not previously meet Type 1 ROP criteria. Persistent avascular retina is associated with lattice-like changes, retinal tears, and detachments. The location and extent of the ridge, posterior hyaloidal contraction and adhesion, and persistent avascular retina all contribute to a spectrum of findings ranging from reactivation of neovascularization, tractional, rhegmatogenous, or exudative detachments.


Understanding Adult ROP anatomy is critical in identification of retinal pathology and treatment choice. ROP patients require lifelong monitoring.

Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

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