Treatment of retinopathy of prematurity: a review of conventional and promising new therapeutic options

Mutlu F. M., Sarici U. S.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.6, no.2, pp.228-236, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a retinal vascular disease of premature infants, continues to be a major cause of preventable childhood blindness all over the world. The incidence of ROP varies among countries, being influenced by the quality of the level of neonatal intensive care. Here, we discuss the potential treatments that are now available or will soon or probably be available for ROP. Although ablation of the avascular retina with laser photocoagulation remains the current gold standard and well established therapy for ROP, some new therapeutic options including angiostatic therapies are being explored based on our knowledge of the pathophysiology of the ROP and complications and efficacy of laser treatment. However, prevention of the development of severe ROP and screening for ROP seem to be the best strategy in avoiding visual impairment caused by ROP in premature infants. New therapeutic interventions including vascular endothelial growth factor antibody administration, gene therapy and supplemental therapies should be supported with evidence-based data for the treatment of ROP.