BACKGROUND: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a vaso-proliferative disease of the eye, which mainly affects preterm newborn infants with an incompletely vascularized retina. The incidence of ROP has increased in industrialized countries due to the increased survival of extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants. ROP is also increasing in developing countries like Indonesia, where it is most likely due to the improved survival of ELBW infants.
OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the incidence of ROP and possible risk factors associated with the development of ROP in preterm infants in Indonesia.
METHODS: We reviewed the literature on the incidence and potential risk factors for the development of ROP in Indonesia, obtained data from three referral eye clinics and added data from our institution.
RESULTS: The reported incidence of all stages of ROP in infants with a gestational age of <32 weeks ranged from 18–30%. One study showed that ROP also occurred at older gestational ages. Blindness due to ROP was seen in infants up to 35 weeks and with a birth weight of 2000 g.
CONCLUSION: Retinopathy of prematurity is an important cause of ocular morbidity and blindness in Indonesia. The overall incidence of ROP in infants born below 32 weeks in Indonesia is higher than in developed countries, and it is seen in infants with older gestational ages. This might be due to a less strict monitoring during the use of oxygen in Indonesia compared to industrialized countries.