Hyperglycaemic infants at risk of retinopathy of prematurity

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Infants with hyperglycaemia are at an increased risk of having retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), a recent study has found. Meanwhile, no such effect was observed for serum levels of glycated albumin (GlyA).

Researchers conducted a prospective analysis of 152 infants (median gestational age, 30 weeks) who were under ROP screening. Glucose levels were measured at birth and every 8 hours thereafter for the first week of life, while GlyA was measured at birth and at 1, 2, and 4 weeks after.

A total of 33 infants developed ROP, corresponding to an incidence rate of 21.7 percent. Twenty of these cases were severe, while six were type 1 ROP. Majority (72.7 percent; n=24) of the ROP infants also had hyperglycaemia, as opposed to only 5.0 percent (n=6) in non-ROP comparators. Similarly, median glucose levels were significantly elevated in ROP infants (95 vs 85 mg/dL; p<0.001).

Logistic regression analysis confirmed that hyperglycaemia was a significant risk factor for ROP (Exp[B], 28.062, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 7.881–99.924; p<0.001). Other notable risk factors included the need for oxygen >28 days (Exp[B], 11.012, 95 percent CI, 3.132–38.716; p<0.001) and necrotizing enterocolitis (Exp[B], 13.693, 95 percent CI, 1.361–131.714; p=0.026).

In contrast, birthweight seemed to an inverse correlate of ROP (Exp[B], 0.996, 95 percent CI, 0.993–0.998; p<0.001).

Notably, an interim analysis of the first 94 infants to participate in the study showed that GlyA levels were not significantly associated with ROP at birth (p=0.629) nor at weeks 1 (p=0.408), 2 (p=0.278), and 4 (p=0.064).

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