Refractive Changes Associated With Scleral Buckling and Division in Retinopathy of Prematurity

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To examine the refractive changes that occur in infant eyes with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) retinal detachments that are subjected to scleral buckling and subsequent division of the scleral buckle.


A retrospective medical record review of infants with ROP who were managed with an encircling scleral buckle that was subsequently divided and who underwent refraction evaluation during and after division of the scleral buckle.


Seven eyes from 6 patients had scleral exoplants placed for stage 4 ROP retinal detachments at a mean postconceptional age of 48 weeks. The mean refractive error in eyes with the scleral buckle was -11 diopters (D) (range, -5 to -25 D) with an induced mean anisometropia of -9.5 D. After division of the scleral buckle at a mean of 36 weeks postoperatively, the average post-scleral buckle refractive error was -5.68 D, resulting in a mean myopic reduction of 5.5 D.


Scleral buckling in infants with ROP results in large myopic shifts, which are significantly reduced after division of the scleral buckle. This highlights the importance of repeated refraction testing in infants after placement and division of the scleral buckle to avoid refractive amblyopia.

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