Retinopathy of prematurity: applicability and compliance of guidelines in Hong Kong

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To analyse the incidence, application and compliance to Royal College of Ophthalmologists retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) screening recommendations and subsequent treatment of ROP in a neonatal intensive care unit of a large tertiary referral centre in Hong Kong.


A retrospective review was performed for all eligible premature neonates screened for ROP over a 7-year period from June 2008 to December 2015 in our local tertiary neonatal intensive care unit in Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong, using the Royal College of Ophthalmologists ROP screening guideline (2008). Comparison between established UK and American screening guidelines were analysed for their applicability in our locality.


A total of 602 infants were screened, with the incidence of ROP in 28.2% and type 1 ROP in 3.8%, and indirect diode laser performed in all type 1 ROP cases. Overall, adherence for screening criteria was 99.7%, with the average time to commence first screening at 4 weeks postnatal age. Of the 602 cases, 94 (15.6%) were early and 35 (5.8%) were later than the guidelines, of which only 5 (0.8%) of late-screened cases developed ROP requiring treatment. Subsequent treatment of ROP for all the late-screened cases was not delayed.


Current ROP screening using the UK guidelines (2008) is applicable, effective and safe to our predominantly Asian population in Hong Kong, with a low rate of delayed screening.

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