Development of refractive error in individual children with regressed retinopathy of prematurity

Jingyun Wang, Xiaowei Ren, Li Shen, Susan E. Yanni, Joel N. Leffler, Eileen E. Birch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. We investigated longitudinally the refraction development in children with regressed retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), including those with and those without a history of peripheral retinal laser photocoagulation. METHODS. Longitudinal (0-7 years) cycloplegic refraction data were collected prospectively for two groups of preterm children: severe ROP group included those with regressed ROP following bilateral panretinal laser photocoagulation (n = 37; median gestational age [GA] = 25.2; range, 22.7-27.9 weeks) and mild/no ROP group included those with spontaneously regressed ROP or no ROP (n = 27; median GA = 27.1; range, 23.1-32.0 weeks). Analyses were based on spherical equivalent (SEQ), anisometropia, astigmatism, and age (corrected for gestation). RESULTS. The prevalence, magnitude, and rate of myopic progression all were significantly higher in the severe ROP group than in the mild/no ROP group. Longitudinal SEQ in the severe ROP group were best fit with a bilinear model. Before 1.3 years old, the rate of myopic shift was -4.7 diopters (D)/y; after 1.3 years, the rate slowed to -0.15 D/y. Longitudinal SEQ in the mild/no ROP group was best fit with a linear model, with a rate of -0.004 D/y. Anisometropia in the severe ROP group increased approximately three times faster than in the mild/no ROP group. In the severe ROP group, with-the-rule astigmatism increased significantly with age. CONCLUSIONS. The severe ROP group progressed rapidly toward myopia, particularly during the first 1.3 years; anisometropia and astigmatism also increased with age. The mild/no ROP group showed little change in refraction. Infants treated with laser photocoagulation for severe ROP should be monitored with periodic cycloplegic refractions and provided with early optical correction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6018-6024
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 13 2013



  • Laser photocoagulation
  • Myopia
  • Refractive error development
  • Retinopathy of prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this