EFFECT OF PATIENTS' CLINICAL INFORMATION ON THE DIAGNOSIS OF AND DECISION TO TREAT RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY
To evaluate the effect of patients' clinical information on experts' diagnoses of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and decisions to treat.Methods:
Seven experts assessed wide-field fundus photographs of eyes of 52 premature infants of ≤30 weeks' gestational age or ≤1,500 g birthweight (BW) for ROP diagnosis (stage, plus disease, and aggressive posterior ROP) and the necessity for treatment for 2 days. On Day 1, they were masked to all patient data. On Day 2, they were given information on gestational age and BW.Results:
A significant shift in the experts' ratings toward a less aggressive ROP grading stage (P = 0.006) and less frequent decision for intervention (P = 0.021) was observed after receipt of patients' clinical information. This was truer for heavier/less premature infants (gestational age ≥ 28 0/7 weeks or BW ≥ 900 g) than those with very low BWs/high prematurity (gestational age < 24 0/7 weeks or BW < 600 g) (ROP stage P = 0.009 vs. P = 0.399, treatment decision P = 0.022 vs. P = 0.648).Conclusion:
These results suggest knowledge of patients' clinical information influences the grading of ROP disease and decision for treatment. Retinopathy of prematurity staging seemed to be set at a lower level and the decision for treatment at a higher threshold for heavier/less premature babies. Our findings may have implications for further refinements in ROP assessment.