Placenta Microbiology and histology and the risk for severe retinopathy of prematurity

Minghua L. Chen, Elizabeth N. Allred, Jonathan L. Hecht, Andrew Onderdonk, Deborah van der Veen, David K. Wallace, Alan Leviton, Olaf Dammann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To test the hypothesis that the presence of bacteria and/or histologic inflammation in the placenta of infants born preterm is associated with an increased risk for severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). METHODS. This was a prospective cohort study. Exploratory and multivariable data analyses were used, including logistic regression models with interaction terms. Main outcomes were four definitions of severe ROP: stage 3 or higher, any ROP in zone I, prethreshold/threshold, and plus disease. RESULTS. Individually, placenta bacteria and histologic inflammation were not associated with severe ROP in univariable analyses among 1064 infants with gestational age <28 weeks or among 715 infants with gestational age <27 weeks (we excluded infants with a gestational age of 27 weeks because of the very small number of ROP cases). However, the co-occurrence of bacteria and inflammation was associated with an increased risk for ROP in zone I (odds ratio, 3.1; 95% confidence interval, 1.02-9.5). Among 339 infants with any placental bacteria, the co-occurrence of (1) inflammation and a gestational age of 23 to 24 weeks and (2) inflammation and hyperoxia were associated with prominent increases in risk for all definitions of severe ROP. CONCLUSIONS. While antenatal exposure to infection or inflammation alone does not appear to convey risk information for severe ROP, their co-occurrence does. This finding supports the hypothesis that a fetal inflammatory response to antenatal infection might be part of the etiology of severe ROP. copy; 2011 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7052-7058
Number of pages7
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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