Purpose To characterize the frequency of and clinical indications for which experts treat retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) milder than type 1 disease, the recommended threshold for treatment from established consensus guidelines. Design Descriptive analysis. Methods setting: Multicenter. study population: A database of 1444 eyes generated prospectively from all babies screened for ROP at 1 of 6 major ROP centers whose parents provided informed consent. intervention: Retrospective review of the database and charts to identify all patients treated for ROP milder than type 1. main outcome measure: Indication(s) for treatment. Results A total of 137 eyes of 70 infants were treated for ROP. Of these 137 eyes, 13 (9.5%) were treated despite a clinical diagnosis milder than type 1 ROP. Indications for treatment included active ROP with the fellow eye being treated for type 1 ROP (2 eyes, 15.4%); concerning structural changes (9 eyes, 69.2%), including tangential traction with temporal vessel straightening concerning for macular dragging (8 eyes, 61.5%) and thick stage 3 membranes with anteroposterior traction concerning for progression to stage 4 ROP (3 eyes, 23.1%); persistent ROP at an advanced postmenstrual age (4 eyes, 30.8%); and/or vitreous hemorrhage (3 eyes, 23.1%). Conclusions Experts in this study occasionally recommended treatment in eyes with disease less than type 1 ROP. This study has important clinical implications and highlights the role of individual clinical judgment in situations not covered by evidence-based treatment guidelines.
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