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Global Disparities in Retinopathy of Prematurity: A Literature Review

HumanInsight Global Disparities in Retinopathy of Prematurity: A Literature Review

Semin Ophthalmol. 2022 Nov 30:1-7. doi: 10.1080/08820538.2022.2152708. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To provide an overview of the impact of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and the challenges in the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of ROP worldwide.

METHODS: A comprehensive search was conducted using the PubMed database from January 2011 to October 2021 using the following keywords: retinopathy of prematurity, laser, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Data on patient characteristics, ROP treatment type, and recurrence rates were collected. The countries included in these studies were classified based on 2021-2022 World Bank definitions of high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low-income groups. Moreover, a search for surgical outcomes for ROP and screening algorithms and artificial intelligence for ROP was conducted.

RESULTS: Thirty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. ROP treatment and outcomes showed a trend towards intravitreal anti-VEGF injections as the initial treatment for ROP globally and the treatment of recurrent ROP in high-income countries. However, laser remains the treatment of choice for ROP recurrence in middle-income countries. Surgical outcomes for ROP stage 4A, 4B and 5 are similar worldwide. The incidence of ROP and ROP-related visual impairment continue to increase globally. Although telemedicine and artificial intelligence offer potential solutions to ROP screening in resource-limited areas, the current models require further optimization to reflect the global diversity of ROP patients.

CONCLUSION: ROP screening and treatment paradigms vary widely based on country income group due to disparities in resources, limited access to care, and lack of universal guidelines.

PMID:36448810 | DOI:10.1080/08820538.2022.2152708

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