Document Type


Publication Date


Academic Year



Introduction: The retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) examination is recommended for high-risk preterm infants to prevent its complications but may be associated with adverse events. The goal of this study is to determine whether the ROP examination increases the incidence of adverse events in premature infants.

Design/Methods: This was a retrospective study on all preterm infants (32 weeks gestation) born between 03/2017 and 12/2019 who survived until the first eye examination. The number of episodes of apnea (A), bradycardia (B), desaturation (D), number of infants on mechanical ventilation, and number of infants requiring sepsis evaluation were compared before and after the eye examination. The groups were compared using paired t-test, chi-square, ANOVA, and extended Fisher’s Exact test.

Results: 124 infants met the study criteria and 461 examinations were performed. There was no significant difference in ABD 1 day before, on the day of examination, and one day after the examination. There was a significant difference in either A, B or D 3 days before and 3 days after an eye examination (p=0.04) but not in cumulative adverse events. There was no significant difference in the number of infants on mechanical ventilation or requiring sepsis evaluation before and after the examination.

Conclusions: ROP examination was not associated with increased adverse events. Isolated finding of an increase in A/B/D 3 days after examination could be due to multiple comparison. These findings are useful for clinicians to consider when screening for ROP in vulnerable neonates.