A new study found an approach that identifies high-risk patients so all preemies don’t need to undergo an invasive eye exam.
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Research from Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago ultimately could spare a number of premature infants from undergoing invasive eye exams to detect retinopathy of prematurity, the most common cause of preventable lifelong blindness in children in the United States.
According to an Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago news release, ROP is caused by an abnormal development of small blood vessels on the retina. A team of researchers led by Dr. Isabelle De Plaen discovered that imaging the capillaries in the nail bed of preemies within the first month of life using a non invasive technique called nail bed capillaroscopy can identify infants at high risk for developing ROP. This screening could eliminate the need to evaluate all premature infants with eye exams about a month later.
Findings were published in the Journal of Pediatrics, De Plaen, senior author and Neonatologist at Lurie Children's, as well as Professor of Pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, explained that abnormal systemic vascular development starts much earlier than researchers had initially believed. ROP occurs in about 1 in 500 to 1 in 1000 premature infants. It affects 33% to 60% of babies with very low birth weight, less than 1500 grams, according to the hospitals news release.
According to the news release in the cohort of 32 Premature neonates they studied the plan and the research team found that nail bed capillary density was higher in babies who later developed ROP. Microvascular density in the first month of life also correlated with the severity of ROP. According to the news release, the research work at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago is conducted through Stanley Manne Research Institute Children's Research Institute.
The Manne Research Institute is focused on improving child health, transforming pediatric medicine and ensuring healthier futures through the relentless pursuit of knowledge. Lurie Children's is a nonprofit organization committed to providing access to exceptional care for every child. It is ranked as one of the nation's top children's hospitals by US News and World Report. Thank you for listening to this edition of EyePod. Visit the Ophthalmology Times website for the latest news in the field of Ophthalmology