The progress of prophylactic treatment in retinopathy of prematurity

Hong Bing Zhang, Xiao Dong Wang, Kun Xu, Xiao Gang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a retinal vascular disorder frequently found in premature infants. Different therapeutic strategies have been developed to treat ROP. However, there are still many children with ROP suffering by severe limitations in vision or even blindness. Recently, ROP has been suggested to be caused by abnormal development of the retinal vasculature, but not simply resulted by retinal neovascularization which takes about 4 to 6wk after birth in premature infants. Thus, instead of focusing on how to reduce retinal neovascularization, understanding the pathological changes and mechanisms that occur prior to retinal neovascularization is meaningful, which may lead to identify novel target(s) for the development of novel strategy to promote the healthy growth of retinal blood vessels rather than passively waiting for the appearance of retinal neovascularization and removing it by force. In this review, we discussed recent studies about, 1) the pathogenesis prior to retinal neovascularization in oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR; a ROP in animal model) and in premature infants with ROP; 2) the preclinical and clinical research on preventive treatment of early OIR and ROP. We will not only highlight the importance of the mechanisms and signalling pathways in regulating early stage of ROP but also will provide guidance for actively exploring novel mechanisms and discovering novel treatments for early phase OIR and ROP prior to retinal neovascularization in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-873
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2018


  • Oxygen-induced retinopathy
  • Retinal neovascularization
  • Retinopathy of prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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