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A.M. Lora, M. Adenwalla, P. Neerukonda, P.B. Dray, R.M. Ahuja; Rate of Retinopathy of Prematurity in Very Low Birth Weight and Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants in a Racially Diverse Population . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):602.
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Purpose: To determine the rate of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) in low birth weight, very low birth weight and extremely low birth weights in African-American, Hipanic and Caucasian infants.Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients examined by one ophthalmology attending at the Cook County Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) between 1997 and 2002. The infants were divided into 3 groups by birth weight: low birth weight (LBW) 1000 to 1250g, very low birth weight (VLBW) 650 to 999g and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) <650g. Results: A total of 952 charts were reviewed. Of these, 355 infants were excluded due to incomplete data, and 11 were excluded due to indeterminate race. Out of 586 infants included in our study, 333 had birth weights of <1250g with a 36.51%(214/586) rate of ROP. Of these 333 infants, there were 42 ELBW, 167 VLBW and 124 LBW. The overall rate of ROP was 90.5% (38/42) in ELBW, 75.4% (126/167) in VLBW and 40.3% (50/124) in LBW. In the group of 586, there were 481 African-Americans with mean birth weight of 1204g (SD+546g), 88 Hispanics with mean birth weight 1260g (SD+412g), and 17 Caucasians with mean birth weight 1364g(SD+730g). There was no statistically significant difference among the three races with respect to birth weight (p=0.340). The rate of ROP was 40.5% (195/481) for African-Americans, 43.2% (38/88) for Hispanics, and 35.3% (6/17) for Caucasians. There was no statistically significant difference among the three races with respect to rate of ROP (p=0.805). Twelve of these infants (2.05%) reached threshold and were treated using laser photocoagulation.Conclusions: Our inner-city location allowed us to evaluate the rate of ROP in different ethnic groups. We found no statistically significant difference in the rate of ROP among African-Americans, Hispanics and Caucasians. Our study population had a preponderance of patients with VLBW and ELBW, perhaps also because of an inner-city location. We found very high rates of ROP in ELBW infants (90.5%) and high rates of ROP in VLBW infants (75.4%). These rates are consistent with the few previously published studies of ROP in infants <1000g. Similar to prior reports in developed countries, threshold disease was also rare in our population, perhaps due to improved care in NICUs.
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