Original Article

Retinopathy of Prematurity in Very Low Birth Weight Infants: Effects of Serum Vitamin A and Clinical Parameters


  • Esra Arun Özer
  • Özlem Sivasli Gül
  • Gamze Men
  • Ekrem Talay
  • Sümer Sütçüoglu
  • Ali Kanik
  • Ebru Türkoglu
  • Zelal Kahramaner
  • Hese Cosar
  • Aydin Erdemir
  • Isin Yaprak

Received Date: 02.08.2010 Accepted Date: 04.05.2011 Turk J Ophthalmol 2011;41(5):309-313


Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a proliferative vascular disease which affects premature newborns and occurs during vessel development. The pathogenesis of ROP is complex and includes oxidative damage to the developing retina. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship of ROP with serum vitamin A levels and clinical parameters in infants with a gestational age of ≤32 weeks and birth weight of ≤1500 grams.

Ma­te­ri­al and Met­hod:

Newborns admitted to Newborn Intensive Care Unit within the first 24 hours of life, with gestational age ≤ 32 weeks, birth weight ≤1500 grams, without any major congenital anomalies, inborn error of metabolism or prior history of blood/blood products transfusion were included in the study. The patients were divided into two groups, ROP (+) and ROP (-), according to the presence of ROP at any stage. Serum vitamin A levels and gender, type of delivery, birth weight, gestational age, duration of hospitalization and oxygen supply, multiple gestation, preeclampsia, PDA, sepsis and intraventricular hemorrhage of the groups were compared with Mann-Whitney U and chi-square tests.


The mean gestational age of these infants was 29.2±2.0 weeks and the mean birth weight was 1287±197 grams. ROP was diagnosed in 48% of infants and the mean serum vitamin A level was 0.56±0.45 µmol/L. In 44 cases (84%), vitamin A level was determined low (<0.7 µmol/L) and was extremely low (<0.35 µmol/L) in 17 cases (32.7%). There was no significant difference between the ROP (+) and ROP (-) groups in terms of vitamin A levels. There was a statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of birth weight, gestational age, multiple gestation, duration of hospitalization and oxygen supply.


Our results suggest that low birth weight, small gestational age, duration of hospitalization, oxygen exposure time and multiple gestation may increase the risk of ROP, while serum vitamin A level was not found to be associated with ROP in the present study. (Turk J Ophthalmol 2011; 41: 309-13)

Keywords: Prematurity, retinopathy of prematurity, vitamin A

Full Text (Turkish)