Management of retinopathy of prematurity

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While current management of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is well evidenced, the recent Neonatal Oxygenation Prospective Meta-analysis (NeoPROM) oxygen therapy trials, and the Bevacizumab Eliminates the Angiogenic Threat of Retinopathy of Prematurity (BEAT-ROP) trial of intravitreal injection bevacizumab, have reopened debate on optimal management. Early postnatal manipulation of oxygen therapy, nutrition and serum IGF 1 levels may improve early retinal blood vessel development and prevent later severe ROP. While the use of intravitreal injections of antivascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agents may appear to be an attractive alternative to laser ablation of the peripheral retina, caution is needed. The optimal choice of agent and dose remain unknown, and suppression of serum VEGF levels might interfere with normal angiogenesis processes in developing tissues. There is a pressing need for good Phase 1 studies of these agents, and safety trials.

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