(HealthDay News) — Predictors have been identified for referral-warranted (RW)-retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), according to research published online December 18 in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Gui-Shuang Ying, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined predictive factors for the development of RW-ROP in a multicenter observational cohort.

The researchers found that 15.2% of the 979 infants without RW-ROP at first study-related eye examination who underwent at least two examinations developed RW-ROP. In multivariate analysis, the following were identified as significant predictors: male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.80), nonblack race (OR, 2.76 for white; OR, 4.81 for other), low birth weight (OR, 5.16), younger gestational age (OR, 9.79), number of quadrants with preplus disease (OR, 7.12 for one to two quadrants; OR, 18.4 for three to four quadrants versus no preplus disease), stage 2 ROP (OR, 4.13), presence of retinal hemorrhage (OR, 4.36), the need for respiratory support (OR, 4.99 for controlled mechanical ventilator; OR, 11.0 for high-frequency oscillatory ventilation), and slow weight gain (OR, 2.44). The development of RW-ROP was predicted significantly better with these characteristics than with birth weight and gestational age (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.88 vs. 0.78; P<0.001).

“Using a model like the one presented here could help identify lower-risk infants who are less likely to develop RW-ROP and require less-frequent imaging or eye examinations,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to Janssen Research and Development.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)