Propranolol 0.1% eye micro-drops in newborns with retinopathy of prematurity: A pilot clinical trial

Luca Filippi, Giacomo Cavallaro, Paola Bagnoli, Massimo Dal Monte, Patrizio Fiorini, Elettra Berti, Letizia Padrini, Gianpaolo Donzelli, Gabriella Araimo, Gloria Cristofori, Monica Fumagalli, Giancarlo La Marca, Maria Luisa Della Bona, Roberta Pasqualetti, Pina Fortunato, Silvia Osnaghi, Barbara Tomasini, Maurizio Vanni, Anna Maria Calvani, Silvano MilaniIvan Cortinovis, Alessandra Pugi, Massimo Agosti, Fabio Mosca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Oral propranolol reduces retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) progression, although not safely. This study evaluated safety and efficacy of propranolol eye micro-drops in preterm newborns with ROP.Methods:A multicenter open-label trial, planned according to the Simon optimal two-stage design, was performed to analyze safety and efficacy of propranolol micro-drops in newborns with stage 2 ROP. To this end, hemodynamic and respiratory parameters were monitored, and blood samples were collected weekly, for 3 wk. Propranolol plasma levels were also monitored. The progression of the disease was evaluated with serial ophthalmologic examinations.Results:Twenty-three newborns were enrolled. Since the fourth of the first 19 newborns enrolled in the first stage of the study showed a progression to stage 2 or 3 with plus, the second stage was prematurely discontinued. Even though the objective to complete the second stage was not achieved, the percentage of ROP progression (26%) was similar to that obtained previously with oral propranolol administration. However, no adverse effects were observed and propranolol plasma levels were significantly lower than those measured after oral administration.Conclusion:Propranolol 0.1% eye micro-drops are well tolerated, but not sufficiently effective. Further studies are required to identify the optimal dose and administration schedule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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