Oral vitamin A supplementation for ROP prevention in VLBW preterm infants

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Vitamin A administration may decrease any stage of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in preterm infants. To evaluate whether vitamin A oral supplementation could be preventive in ROP incidence and severity in VLBW infants, we compared results from 31 preterm infants, (< 1500 g or < 32 weeks) who, during a previous investigation, prospectively received 3000 UI/kg/die oral retinol palmitate drops, for 28 days, with 31 matching preterm newborns hospitalized in our NICU the same period, as control group. Although ROP incidence was similar, in the supplemented group, we had 9 cases of ROP grade 1, no ROP grade ≥ 2, in the un-supplemented group, 4 cases of ROP grade 1 and 6 ROP grade ≥ 2 (p = 0.018). The percentage of babies requiring treatment for ROP was 0 in treated and 16.6 in the un-treated group (p = 0.020). Moreover, Vitamin A administration showed a protective effect with an 88% risk reduction of developing severe ROP. Since vitamin A parenteral/IM administration presents some awareness, the results of this investigation may be important to plan further trials to confirm the usefulness of oral administration in mitigating the ROP severity of VLBW infants.ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02102711; may 03/06/2014.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalItalian Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 3 2020


  • Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP)
  • Very low birth weight (VLBW) infant
  • Vitamin A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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