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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate safety and efficacy of oral propranolol administration in preterm newborns affected by an early phase of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Fifty-two preterm newborns with Stage 2 ROP were randomized to receive oral propranolol (0.25 or 0.5 mg/kg/6 hours) added to standard treatment or standard treatment alone. To evaluate safety of the treatment, hemodynamic and respiratory variables were continuously monitored, and blood samples were collected weekly to check for renal, liver, and metabolic balance. To evaluate efficacy of the treatment, the progression of the disease (number of laser treatments, number of bevacizumab treatments, and incidence of retinal detachment) was evaluated by serial ophthalmologic examinations, and plasma soluble E-selectin levels were measured weekly. Newborns treated with propranolol showed less progression to Stage 3 (risk ratio 0.52; 95% CI 0.47-0.58, relative reduction of risk 48%) or Stage 3 plus (relative risk 0.42 95% CI 0.31-0.58, relative reduction of risk 58%). The infants required fewer laser treatments and less need for rescue treatment with intravitreal bevacizumab (relative risk 0.48; 95% CI 0.29-0.79, relative reduction of risk 52 %), a 100% relative reduction of risk for progression to Stage 4. They also had significantly lower plasma soluble E-selectin levels. However, 5 of the 26 newborns treated with propranolol had serious adverse effects (hypotension, bradycardia), in conjunction with episodes of sepsis, anesthesia induction, or tracheal stimulation. This pilot study suggests that the administration of oral propranolol is effective in counteracting the progression of ROP but that safety is a concern.
    The Journal of pediatrics 09/2013; · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a disease that can cause blindness in very low birthweight infants. The incidence of ROP is closely correlated with the weight and the gestational age at birth. Despite current therapies, ROP continues to be a highly debilitating disease. Our advancing knowledge of the pathogenesis of ROP has encouraged investigations into new antivasculogenic therapies. The purpose of this article is to review the findings on the pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to the transition between the first and second phases of ROP and to investigate new potential therapies. Oxygen has been well characterized for the key role that it plays in retinal neoangiogenesis. Low or high levels of pO2 regulate the normal or abnormal production of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 and vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF), which are the predominant regulators of retinal angiogenesis. Although low oxygen saturation appears to reduce the risk of severe ROP when carefully controlled within the first few weeks of life, the optimal level of saturation still remains uncertain. IGF-1 and Epo are fundamentally required during both phases of ROP, as alterations in their protein levels can modulate disease progression. Therefore, rhIGF-1 and rhEpo were tested for their abilities to prevent the loss of vasculature during the first phase of ROP, whereas anti-VEGF drugs were tested during the second phase. At present, previous hypotheses concerning ROP should be amended with new pathogenetic theories. Studies on the role of genetic components, nitric oxide, adenosine, apelin and β-adrenergic receptor have revealed new possibilities for the treatment of ROP. The genetic hypothesis that single-nucleotide polymorphisms within the β-ARs play an active role in the pathogenesis of ROP suggests the concept of disease prevention using β-blockers. In conclusion, all factors that can mediate the progression from the avascular to the proliferative phase might have significant implications for the further understanding and treatment of ROP.
    Acta ophthalmologica 04/2013; · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fetal mice require light exposure in utero during early gestation for normal vascular development in the eye. Because angiogenic abnormalities in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are manifested in preterm infants, we investigated whether day length during early gestation was associated with severe ROP (SROP). Single-center, retrospective cohort study. We included a total of 343 premature infants (401-1250 g birth weight [BW], from 1998-2002): 684 eyes (1 eye each of 2 patients excluded) with 76 eyes developing SROP, defined as (1) classic threshold ROP in zone I or II, (2) type 1 ROP in zone I, or (3) in a few eyes, type 1 ROP in posterior zone II that was treated. For each infant, average day length (ADL) was calculated during different cumulative time periods and time windows after the estimated date of conception (EDC). Multiple logistic regression analysis (with generalized estimating equations to account for inter-eye correlation) was performed. Association of ADL during early gestation with SROP. In a model evaluating all 684 eyes with 76 eyes developing SROP, BW, gestational age, multiple births, race, per capita income in the mother's residence ZIP code, and ADL during the first 90 days after the EDC were factors associated with the development of SROP. Each additional hour of ADL (90 days) decreased the likelihood of SROP by 28% (P = 0.015; odds ratio [OR], 0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.55-0.94). In a model evaluating the subset of 146 prethreshold ROP eyes with 76 eyes developing SROP, each additional hour of ADL during the first 105 days after the EDC decreased the likelihood of SROP by 46% (P = 0.001; OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.37-0.78). Time windows when ADL was most closely associated with SROP were 31 to 60 days and 61 to 90 days after the EDC for the all eyes and the prethreshold ROP eyes models, respectively. Higher ADL during early gestation was associated with a lower risk for SROP and may imply a role for prophylactic light treatment during early gestation to decrease the risk of SROP. Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.
    Ophthalmology 10/2013; · 5.56 Impact Factor