Refractive Outcome in Preterm Newborns With ROP After Propranolol Treatment. A Retrospective Observational Cohort Study

Luca Filippi, Giacomo Cavallaro, Lavinia Perciasepe, Elena Sandini, Gabriella Araimo, Giulia Regiroli, Genny Raffaeli, Paola Bagnoli, Massimo Dal Monte, Maura Calvani, Pina Fortunato, Silvia Osnaghi, Salvatore De Masi, Fabio Mosca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Recent explorative studies suggest that propranolol reduces retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) progression, but the short-term effects of propranolol treatment at 1 year of corrected age have not been extensively evaluated. Methods: A multi-center retrospective observational cohort study was conducted to assess the physical development and the refractive outcome of infants with prior ROP treated with propranolol. Forty-nine infants treated with propranolol were compared with an equal number of patients who did not receive any propranolol therapy and represent the control group, with comparable anthropometrical characteristics and stages of ROP. Results: The weight, length, and head circumference at 1 year of corrected age were similar between infants who had been treated, or not, with propranolol, without any statistically significant differences. Refractive evaluation at 1 year showed spherical equivalent values decreasing with the progression of ROP toward more severe stages of the disease, together with an increasing number of infants with severe myopia. On the contrary, no differences were observed between infants who had been treated with propranolol and those who had not. Conclusion: This study confirms that the progression of ROP induces an increase of refractive errors and suggests that propranolol itself does not affect the refractive outcome. Therefore, if the efficacy of propranolol in counteracting ROP progression is confirmed by further clinical trials, the conclusion will be that propranolol might indirectly improve the visual outcome, reducing the progression of ROP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number479
JournalFrontiers in Pediatrics
Publication statusPublished - Nov 13 2019


  • angiogenesis
  • beta-blocker
  • preterm newborn
  • proliferative retinopathy
  • propranolol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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