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Retinopathy of Prematurity and Assisted Reproductive Technology: Is There an Association?

Authors Alsammahi A, Basheikh A

Received 2 December 2020

Accepted for publication 5 January 2021

Published 22 January 2021 Volume 2021:15 Pages 227—233


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Alaa Alsammahi, Ahmed Basheikh

Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence: Alaa Alsammahi
Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 31135, Jeddah 21497, Saudi Arabia
Tel +966 590-205-901

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and to assess whether assisted reproductive technology (ART) is a risk factor for ROP independent of the generation of multiple births by determining the occurrence and severity of ROP and the need for treatment. We will also evaluate other risk factors associated with the development of ROP among preterm infants.
Patients and Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review for all premature infants who were screened for ROP according to the screening guidelines of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and born at King Abdulaziz University Hospital from 2015 to 2019. In addition to ophthalmological results, data on gestational age (GA), birth weight (BW), type of pregnancy (singleton or multiple), type of conception (natural or ART), infantile factors, and maternal factors were recorded.
Results: A total of 229 preterm babies met our criteria. The mean GA at birth was 29.35 weeks. Notably, 175 neonates were conceived naturally and 54 were conceived by ART. Furthermore, 33 infants in the natural conception group were products of multiple pregnancies, as were 49 infants in the ART group. ROP was noted in 96 of 229 infants (41.92%). No significant difference was found in the occurrence of ROP between multiple neonates in the natural and ART groups. However, ART birth babies in general were significantly associated with the development of ROP (P=0.045). On multiple regression analysis, early GA, low BW, and extended oxygen therapy were the variables most significantly associated with ROP (P≤ 0.001).
Conclusion: In our sample, ART in multiple birth babies per se did not seem to be a risk factor for ROP. However, ART babies were more prone to develop ROP than natural conception birth babies, which seemed to be more severe.

Keywords: ROP, assisted conception, ART, premature, multiple births, gestational age

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