European Journal of Ophthalmology vol:23 issue:5 pages:678-682
Introduction: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a leading cause of preventable blindness throughout the world. Several risk factors have been studied, but most studies remain inconclusive. Evidence is accumulating that one of the strongest predictors of ROP, in addition to oxygen use and low gestational age, is poor weight gain during the first postnatal weeks. Methods: In a prospective study, we sought to determine the importance of serial weight measurements to help predict neovascularization (NV). In a first stage, a summary of the response in each case is identified and calculated as area under the curve (AUC). In a second stage, these different AUCs are analyzed by nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test. For the murine study, pups were redistributed in smaller and larger litters. On postnatal day (P)7-12, the oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) model was applied. Body weight was measured on P7, P14, and P17. Retinal NV was assessed on P17. For the human study, the subjects were part of the control arm of the NIRTURE trial. Ophthalmologists screened for ROP. Birthweight was recorded. Weekly weight measurements were performed for the first 4 weeks. Results: The AUC of serial weight (gain) measurements was significantly lower in murine (14 vs 17 g; p = 0.01) and human (140 g/wk vs 240 g/wk; p = 0.0001) newborns developing retinal NV. Conclusion: This prospective study supports previous findings, using a new way of statistical analysis, that early postnatal weight gain is an important indicator in the development of neovascular disease.