Studying the vascular-endothelial growth factor level in the tears in newborns of the risk group for developing the retinopathy of prematurity

S.V. Katsan, S.G. Fedotova


Background. The retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a specific pathology of premature newborns. ROP can lead to blindness, but it is predictable with early treatment. To prevent severe complications, all pediatric ophthalmologists use screening for premature newborns every 2 weeks before the retina becomes to normal condition, or the ROP appears. But every-two-week screening disturbs such babies, needs the special equipment and high skills of ophthalmologists and nurses to provide this procedure. Such features make us to look for additional ways to diagnose the ROP. Today we know the relation between the vascular-endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels and the ROP onset. In this study, we searched the method of the ROP prediction based on changing of VEGF levels. The purpose was to find the relation between the changes of VEGF level in the tears in premature newborns of the risk group and the state of ROP. Materials and methods. The study involved 32 newborns of the risk group for the ROP (weight of birth was less than 1500 g, gestation age was under 32 weeks). At the moment of screening, we took the tears from babies. To collect the tears, we used the sterile sheet of filter paper with further freezing. The VEGF level was determined by the solid immunoassay analysis. The data obtained were statistically processed with Student’s and Wilcoxon criterions. Results. VEGF level in tears in premature newborns of the risk group for ROP was found to be higher if associated with onset or the progression of this disease. Also no changes were determined in babies with normal retina growth without ROP. Conclusions. Statistically significant increase in VEGF level in tears was found in premature babies with ROP onset or its progression.


retinopathy of prematurity; VEGF; ROP diagnosis; premature newborns; VEGF level in tears


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