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M. Motta, C.A. Fiorot, B.F. Fernandes, A.C. Frota, V.S. Saraiva, M.N. Burnier, Jr.; The Relationship Between Multiple Pregnancy and Incidence of Retinopathy of Prematurity . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5308.
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Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disease that affects the immature retina of premature babies. Threshold disease is defined as the stage of ROP where patients require treatment. The incidence of ROP increases with the decrease in gestational age and birth weight. Neonates from multiple pregnancies are at a higher risk for low birth weight and prematurity. However, there have been conflicting studies regarding the incidence of ROP in twins versus single births. The purpose of this study was to compare the incidence of ROP and its threshold form between twins and single births.
One hundred and fifty–nine consecutive eligible newborns were screened for ROP by indirect ophthalmoscopy in a period of 19 months. Group I was composed of 56 premature twins and group II of 103 premature single births. Inclusion criteria included birth weight below 1500 grams and/or less than 32 weeks of gestational age. Premature infants followed for less than 4 weeks were not included in the study. Cases presenting threshold retinopathy were treated with either diode laser or cryotherapy.
ROP was present in 53% of the infants of group I and in 35% of Group II. Threshold disease was present in 5.3% of the infants of group I and in 8.7% of group II. Both groups were similar regarding birth weight and gestational age. Differences between both groups were significant for ROP (p<0.05) but not for its threshold form (p>0.05). Three cases of group I and nine cases in group II showed threshold disease and were treated with laser (11 cases) or cryotherapy (1 case). Regression of the disease was achieved in eleven of those cases (91,7%).
Incidence of ROP was significantly higher in twins than in singletons. However, there was no significant difference in the incidence of threshold disease between both groups. Treatment outcome was favorable in most of the cases except one that evolved into an inoperable total retinal detachment.
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