Refractive outcomes in infants treated for retinopathy of prematurity
Medical hypothesis, discovery & innovation in optometry,
Vol. 3 No. 3 (2022),
30 December 2022
AbstractBackground: Infants treated for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) can develop visually significant refractive error. However, the degree of refractive error may differ between laser treatment and intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injection. We reviewed studies that investigated refractive error outcomes of treatment in premature infants with ROP.
Methods: In this narrative review, a literature search was carried out in PubMed/MEDLINE from 01/01/2000 to 20/10/2022 without language restrictions, using the following keywords: “anti-VEGF,” “ROP” or “prematurity retinopathy,” and “laser.” We included comparative studies on refractive error outcomes of intravitreal anti-VEGF and laser treatments, a combination of both modalities simultaneously or sequentially, and two anti-VEGF agents.
Results: The initial search yielded 164 records. We reviewed the titles and abstracts of the retrieved papers and the reference list of published systematic reviews and meta-analyses, meta-analyses, or reviews on our topic. Thirty-three records fulfilled our inclusion criteria, which included refractive outcomes in 4350 eyes of 2359 participants treated for ROP. Based on the reported refractive outcomes, we divided the studies into four categories: 1) those that revealed a higher rate of refractive error in the laser-treated eyes than in the anti-VEGF-treated eyes; 2) those that revealed no significant difference in refractive outcomes between the two treatment modalities; 3) those that revealed a higher rate of refractive error in the anti-VEGF-treated eyes or compared refractive outcomes between two anti-VEGF agents; and 4) those that reported refractive outcomes in the eyes that received combined simultaneous or sequential treatment with laser after initial anti-VEGF treatment. We also summarized the refractive outcomes of all included primary studies in each category.
Conclusions: This study showed that the laser-treated eyes experienced more myopic shift. However, the refractive outcomes in premature infants of laser treatment, anti-VEGF treatment, and a combination of both modalities simultaneously or sequentially were often contradictory. This variability resulted from obvious differences in the sample size, different follow-up durations, or inhomogeneous study or treatment designs. Further well-designed prospective trials on refractive outcomes and the trend of changes in the refractive status over long-term follow-ups in the eyes treated with ROP are necessary to identify consensus results concerning real-world refractive outcomes of each treatment modality or simultaneous or sequential combination of both modalities, to suggest a safe and effective treatment option for eye care professionals.
- premature infant
- retinopathy of prematurity
- refractive error
- laser therapy
- intravitreal injection
- vascular endothelial growth factor
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