Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a major complication of preterm birth. It encompasses a spectrum of pathologies that affect vision, from mild disease that resolves spontaneously to severe disease that causes retinal detachment and subsequent blindness. The pathologies are characterized by an arrest in normal retinal vascular development associated with microvascular degeneration. The resulting ischemia and retinal hypoxia lead to excessive abnormal compensatory blood vessel growth. However, this neovascularization can lead to fibrous scar formation and culminate in retinal detachment. Present therapeutic modalities to limit the adverse consequences of aberrant neovascularization are invasive and/or tissue-destructive. In this Review, we discuss current concepts on retinal microvascular degeneration, neovascularization, and available treatments, as well as present future perspectives toward more profound elucidation of the pathogenesis of ROP.
Przemyslaw Sapieha, Jean-Sebastien Joyal, José Carlos Rivera, Elsa Kermorvant-Duchemin, Florian Sennlaub, Pierre Hardy, Pierre Lachapelle, Sylvain Chemtob