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Sloane AJ, O'Donnell EA, Mackley AB, Reid JE, Greenspan JS, Paul DA, Aghai ZH. Do extremely preterm infants need retinopathy of prematurity screening earlier than 31 weeks postmenstrual age? J Perinatol. 2021 Feb;41(2):305-309. doi: 10.1038/s41372-020-0681-6. Epub 2020 May 6. PMID: 32377010.

Objective: To evaluate the utility of screening all extremely preterm infants for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) at 4 weeks chronologic age, which is earlier than recommended by the 2018 AAP guidelines.

Study design: Retrospective analysis of infants <27 weeks gestation from two tertiary NICUs between 2006 and 2018 who survived until first eye examination.

Results: 550 infants (gestational age 25.1 ± 1.2 weeks and birth weight 758 ± 323 g) had 1310 examinations performed by 32 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA), and 676 (51.6%) of these were prior to 31 weeks PMA. No examinations in infants prior to 31 weeks PMA met the criteria for laser therapy. Of 87/550 infants (15.8%) who required laser therapy, none did so prior to 32 weeks PMA.

Conclusions: No infants born <27 weeks gestation were found to have severe ROP prior to 31 weeks PMA, supporting the most recent AAP recommendation of initiating ROP screening at 31 weeks PMA for extremely preterm infants.

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