Influence of the blood glucose level on the development of retinopathy of prematurity in extremely premature children

ABSTRACTPurpose:To investigate the influence of the blood glucose level on the development of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in extremely premature infants.Methods:Sixty-four premature infants with a gestational age of less than 30 weeks and a birth weight of less than 1500 g were included in the study. Children without ROP were allocated to Group 1 (n=14, gestational age 28.6 ± 1.4 weeks, birth weight 1162 ± 322 g), and children with spontaneous regression of ROP were allocated to Group 2 (n=32, gestational age 26.5 ± 1.2 weeks, birth weight 905 ± 224 g). Children with progressive ROP who underwent laser treatment were included in Group 3 (n=18, gestational age 25.4 ± 0.7 weeks, birth weight 763 ± 138 g). The glucose level in the capillary blood of the premature infants was monitored daily during the first 3 weeks of life. A complete ophthalmological screening was performed from the age of 1 month. The nonparametric signed-rank Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney test was used for statistical analysis.Results:The mean blood glucose level was 7.43 ± 2.6 mmol/L in Group 1, 7.8 ± 2.7 mmol/L in Group 2, and 6.7 ± 2.6 mmol/L in Group 3. There were no significant differences in the blood glucose levels between children with and without ROP, and also between children with spontaneously regressing ROP and progressive ROP (p>0.05). Additionally, there were no significant differences in the blood glucose levels measured at the first, second, and third weeks of life (p>0.05).Conclusion:The blood glucose level is not related to the development of ROP nor with its progression or regression. The glycemic level cannot be considered as a risk factor for ROP, but reflects the severity of newborns’ somatic condition and morphofunctional immaturity.