Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is diagnosed by eye examination to identify signs of ROP. While individual protocols on the scheduling of neonatal eye examination will vary, a general guideline based on gestational age at birth is:
- Infants born between 23 and 24 weeks gestation have their first eye exam between the 3rd and 4th week of life
- Infants born between 25 and 28 weeks gestation have their first eye exam between the 4th and 5th week of life
- Infants born between 29 and 32 weeks gestation have their first eye exam prior to discharge from the NICU
- All infant born prior to 33 weeks gestation, with no sign of ROP on the initial eye examination need follow-up examination as appropriate based on the infant’s history and clinical course and baseline examination findings.
Finding that are diagnostic of ROP include:
- Presence of scar tissue
- Evidence of retinal detachment from the eye’s inner tissues.