ROP Resources

Small World Vision staff conducts cutting-edge primary research and medical studies to advance the understanding of and medical solutions for ROP and other pediatric eye diseases.

We have compiled a short list of some of the studies and research efforts that we have participated in below. These are copyrighted materials, and each resource has a link to the publisher’s website that will allow you to purchase the full copy.

Validity of a Telemedicine System for Evaluation of ROP

Validity of a telemedicine system for the evaluation of acute-phase retinopathy of prematurity.




The present strategy to identify infants needing treatment for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) requires repeated examinations of at-risk infants by physicians. However, less than 10% ultimately require treatment. Retinal imaging by nonphysicians with remote image interpretation by nonphysicians may provide a more efficient strategy.


To evaluate the validity of a telemedicine system to identify infants who have sufficiently severe ROP to require evaluation by an ophthalmologist.


An observational study of premature infants starting at 32 weeks’ postmenstrual age was conducted. This study involved 1257 infants with birth weight less than 1251 g in neonatal intensive care units in 13 North American centers enrolled from May 25, 2011, through October 31, 2013.


Infants underwent regularly scheduled diagnostic examinations by an ophthalmologist and digital imaging by nonphysician staff using a wide-field digital camera. Ophthalmologists documented findings consistent with referral-warranted (RW) ROP (ie, zone I ROP, stage 3 ROP or worse, or plus disease). A standard 6-image set per eye was sent to a central server and graded by 2 trained, masked, nonphysician readers. A reading supervisor adjudicated disagreements.


The validity of grading retinal image sets was based on the sensitivity and specificity for detecting RW-ROP compared with the criterion standard diagnostic examination.


A total of 1257 infants (mean birth weight, 864 g; mean gestational age, 27 weeks) underwent a median of 3 sessions of examinations and imaging. Diagnostic examination identified characteristics of RW-ROP in 18.2% of eyes (19.4% of infants). Remote grading of images of an eye at a single session had sensitivity of 81.9% (95% CI, 77.4-85.6) and specificity of 90.1% (95% CI, 87.9-91.8). When both eyes were considered for the presence of RW-ROP, as would routinely be done in a screening, the sensitivity was 90.0% (95% CI, 85.4-93.5), with specificity of 87.0% (95% CI, 84.0-89.5), negative predictive value of 97.3%, and positive predictive value of 62.5% at the observed RW-ROP rate of 19.4%.


When compared with the criterion standard diagnostic examination, these results provide strong support for the validity of remote evaluation by trained nonphysician readers of digital retinal images taken by trained nonphysician imagers from infants at risk for RW-ROP.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier:NCT01264276.

Incomplete Retinal Vascularization after Ranibizumab Treatment of ROP

Incomplete Retinal Vascularization After Ranibizumab Treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity


A former 24-week-old premature infant was treated with intravitreal ranibizumab (Lucentis; Genentech, South San Francisco, CA) in one eye and conventional laser in the other eye for aggressive posterior retinopathy of prematurity in both eyes. Fluorescein angiography performed at 149 weeks of age showed persistent avascularity of the temporal peripheral retina in the ranibizumab-treated eye. This case report confirms the need for long-term follow-up of patients treated with ranibizumab monotherapy.

VEGF Expression in ROP with Ranibizumab

Histopathologic Characterization of the Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in a Case of Retinopathy of Prematurity Treated With Ranibizumab



To characterize the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in a patient with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) treated with ranibizumab (Case 1) and compare it with a case of ROP without treatment (Case 2), a case of a premature baby without ROP (Case 3), and a case of a baby without history of ROP or prematurity (Case 4).


Observational case series.


The eyes of the deceased babies were removed postmortem and were sent to the Florida Lions Ocular Pathology Laboratory, where they were processed. The specimens were immunostained using an antibody against VEGF.


All eyes except for the eyes in Case 4 disclosed positive VEGF staining. Positive staining was present within the nerve fiber layer, inner plexiform layer, and inner and outer nuclear layers and within the spindle-shaped cell population in the vanguard in Case 1. In the posterior pole, positive staining was only observed at the level of the nerve fiber layer. This case also demonstrated less positive staining when compared with Case 2, where positive staining was found within all layers of the retina.


Less VEGF staining was observed within the retina of the eyes treated with ranibizumab when compared with the VEGF staining in Case 2. This supports the idea that anti-VEGF agents are effective in reducing the amount of VEGF present in the retina. Furthermore, the fact that some expression of VEGF remains in the immature retina after injection supports the idea that anti-VEGF agents can suppress uncontrolled neovascularization without completely blocking the vascular drive for the vascularization of the immature retina.

Management of Infantile and Childhood Retinopathies…

Management of Infantile and Childhood Retinopathies: Optimized Pediatric Pars Planta Vitrectomy Sclerotomy Nomogram


To develop a nomogram based on age and disease type for sclerotomy placement in pars plana vitrectomy for infants and children with congenital and acquired vitreoretinopathies.


A retrospective, single-center, single-surgeon comparative case series.


A total of 171 eyes of 93 patients ranging in age from a postmenstrual age (PMA) of 34 weeks to a chronological age of 23 years with congenital and acquired vitreoretinopathies.


The corneal white-to-white diameter and the distance between the ora serrata and surgical limbus (ora-limbus distance) in the nasal, temporal, inferior, and superior quadrants were measured externally in vivo under general anesthesia prior to planned pars plana vitrectomy or laser procedure. The average ora-limbus distance of the quadrants was calculated for each eye (mean ora-limbus distance); and mean ora-limbus distance was evaluated as a function of age and compared among age-matched subjects from control and disease groups. Results were used to create a nomogram for safe sclerotomy placement based on age and disease type.

Main Outcome Measures

The main outcome measure was distance (millimeters) from the ora serrata to the surgical limbus; a secondary measurement was corneal white-to-white distance (millimeters).


Among all subjects, the ora-limbus distance was greatest in the superior quadrant, followed by the temporal, inferior, and nasal quadrants. A positive logarithmic relationship between ora-limbus distance and age was demonstrated in all groups. Whereas age-adjusted mean ora-limbus distances were similar among the familial exudative vitreoretinopathy and control groups, growth trends differed in patients with coloboma, persistent fetal vasculature, Stickler syndrome and/or myopia, and retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). In ROP, when subjects <12 months of age were considered separately, a negative correlation was found between the ora-limbus distance and PMA, with infants of lesser gestational age exhibiting greater restriction in ora-limbus distance.


Placement of sclerotomies for pars plana vitrectomy in children requires consideration of ocular development in congenital and acquired vitreoretinopathies; we present an age-based nomogram for sclerotomy placement in infants and children based on analyses of ora-limbus distance in several pediatric ocular conditions.

Severity & Comorbidities of ROP…

The severity and associated comorbidities of retinopathy of prematurity among micro-premature infants with birth weights less than 750 grams.


To evaluate the characteristics and comorbidities associated with ROP in micro-premature infants and their results.


This is a retrospective chart review involving multiple intensive care units in Central Texas from 2011 to 2016. Infants were included if birth weight (BW) was≤750 g with confirmed ROP by the International Classification of Retinopathy of Prematurity (ICROP). Neonates were examined and treated with laser ablation or intravitreal ranibizumab (IVR) with subsequent laser treatment, guided by fluorescein angiography, if met treatment criteria defined as type 1 ROP by the Early Treatment of Retinopathy of Prematurity standards. Time to regression was defined clinically. Results were analyzed using chi-squared test.


100 neonates were included in the study. Mean BW was 599 grams and mean gestational age was 24.2 weeks. Forty neonates were classified as type 1 ROP and therefore required intervention; of them 21 received laser alone and 19 required IVR with subsequent laser. Only 2 patients received more than one IVR injection. None of the patients progressed to stage 4 or 5 ROP.


Despite such low birth weights, none of these neonates progressed to stage 4 or 5 ROP likely because of prompt examination and treatment with laser or with IVR and subsequent laser. IVR might serve as a bridge to laser in type 1 ROP allowing some retinal vessel development prior to definitive laser treatment.


ROP; Retinopathy of prematurity; ranibizumab

© Copyright 2018 Small World Vision

© Copyright 2018 Small World Vision