Zachary Tan, CheeFoong Chong, Brian Darlow,Shuan Dai,
To evaluate changes over time in visualimpairment attributable to retinopathy of prematurity(ROP) in New Zealand. Following, to review currentNZ ROP screening criteria.
22-year retrospective review of medicalrecords of children with moderate to severe visualimpairment registered with the Blind and Low VisionEducation Network NZ. The cohort was divided intotwo periods (1991–2004; 2005–2012) for analysis.
36 infants with moderate to severe visualimpairment from ROP were identified. The incidenceof new cases declined from 3.4 infants/100,000 livebirths p.a. 1991–2004 to 1.8p.a. 2005–2012. Mean ges-tational age (GA) was 25.4 ± 2.0 weeks and mean birthweight (BW) 787.0 ± 222.5g. All bar one infant have aGA <30 weeks or BW < 1250 g. Infants were of Euro-pean (50.0%), Ma¯ori (25.0%), Pacific (8.3%), Asian(8.3%) and other (8.4%) ethnic descent. 75.0%received treatment for their ROP and modalities used change significantly over time. The modal visualoutcome was VA < 6/18–6/60 (38.9%). The proportionof eyes with no light perception decreased over time(18.5% 1991–2004; 5.6% 2005–2012). Developmen-tal delays, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and broncho-pulmonary dysplasia were commonly recorded asconcomitant disabilities. Conclusions: There has been a reduction in thenumber of infants with moderate to severe visualimpairment from ROP over time in NZ, likely due toprogress in clinical practice. Current ROP screeningcriteria are of sufficient breadth. This study supportsthe recommendation that ROP screening criteria acrossNZ be updated to <30 weeks gestation or <1250g birthweight, and selected other infants deemed to be highrisk by their attending neonatologist.