Prognosis and prevention


The prognosis may be predicted by the stage of ROP. In general, most infants who did not progress beyond stages I or II have a good prognosis and can be expected to recover completely. However, some infants who undergo regression may have late complications of ROP, including late onset retinal detachment.

About 10 % of the infants with early changes develop more severe retinal disease that may lead to significant vision impairment and blindness. The most important factor in the outcome is early detection and treatment. ROP with "plus" disease and stages 3 - 5 is referred to as severe, with a significant risk of poor visual outcome.


The most effective prevention of ROP is prevention of premature birth.

Preventing other complications of prematurity (such as neonatal respiratory distress syndrome) may also help the prevention of ROP. Careful monitoring of oxygen therapy and the other risk factors (mentioned above) are crucial to preventing ROP.

Despite advances in neonatology, ROP remains one of the most common causes of visual loss in childhood. At present, the treatment is not always successful and it is still difficult to distinguish infants in whom the disease will spontaneously regress from those in whom it is likely to progress despite of adequate treatment. Lifelong follow-up evaluation of the patients is essential.