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B. Lorenz, S. Augustin, E. Wegscheider, G. Pisinger, E. Fuchs, H. Elflein; Telemedicine Combined With a Digital Retinal Imaging System. A New Method for Improved ROP Screeening in Premature Children . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):597.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: Acute retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is the leading cause of severe visual impairment and blindness in premature children. It demands a high degree of expertise with ROP to detect and evaluate the critical retinal changes. Using a digital wide angle camera system in a telemedical setting would appear to allow to improve quality of screening. Methods: In a pilot study 4 peripheral neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are connected with the Reading Center at the University of Regensburg. Evaluated is the potential of the RetCam 120 in detecting acute ROP in a remote setting. An additional camera was installed in the NICU of Regensburg, to evaluate sensitivity and specificity of the new screening method. All premature infants at risk for ROP are examined according to the actual German screening recommendations. The data are analyzed with a specially developed software. Results: From 2/2001 (in Regensburg from 7/2001) to 31/07/2002 a total of 249 infants were examined. All children with ROP stages requiring treatment were detected (6 infants zone I or zone I-II, 4 infants zone II). The mean gestational age was 25.8 weeks (23 to 28 weeks), the mean birth weight 779g (630 to 980g). Imaging of temporal zone III (not requiring treatment according to international criteria) and nasal zone II was not reliable under screening conditions. However, additional criteria such as plus disease identified significant ROP in all cases. Acute ROP was not always confined to one zone as defined in the International Classification. Conclusions: Digital wide field cameras in a telemedical setting have the potential to detect all acute ROP cases requiring treatment. Centralized software based analysis of the images allows standardized treatment and a more sophisticated data evaluation.
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