AIM: This study evaluated the correlation between retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), anaemia and blood transfusions in extremely preterm infants.
METHODS: We included 227 infants born below 28 weeks of gestation at King Edward Memorial Hospital, Perth, Australia, from 2014-2016. Birth characteristics and risk factors for ROP were retrieved, and anaemia and severe anaemia were defined as a haemoglobins of <110 g/L and <80 g/L, respectively. Logistic regression was used for the analysis.
RESULTS: Retinopathy of prematurity treatment was needed in 11% of cases and the mean number of blood transfusions (p < 0.01), and mean number of weeks of anaemia (p < 0.001) and of severe anaemia (p < 0.05), had positive associations with ROP cases warranting treatment. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the best-fit model of risk factors included anaemic days during first week of life, with an odds ratio (OR) of 1.46% and 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.16-1.83 (p < 0.05), sepsis during the first 4 weeks of life (OR 3.14, 95% CI 1.10-9.00, p < 0.05) and days of ventilation (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.06, p < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: The duration of anaemia during the first week of life was an independent risk factor for ROP warranting treatment and preventing early anaemia may decrease this risk.