Finessing your Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) Skills

Just recently, an ophthalmology resident that was nearing the end of their pediatrics rotation said to me, “All the ROP babies we have screened together have no ROP or ROP not requiring treatment. I’m afraid that when I go into practice I might not be confident enough to call Type I ROP. What should I do?”. Initially my first obvious answer was to recommend what I did in residency – see more patients together and continuing to review the ROP criteria and standard photos. However, I then recalled a great online ROP case-based training tool that had become available when I was in fellowship, Retinopathy of Prematurity: Case-Based Training, available through the American Academy of Ophthalmology website.

This interactive tool provides 20 cases of varying severity including a tutorial, if needed, to review how to diagnosis and when to treat ROP. Each case provides the birth weight, gestational age, postmenstrual age, six standard ROP imaging views for each eye, and selections for your specific diagnosis and follow-up. Although it may sound straightforward, some of the cases really get you thinking about whether they truly meet the criteria for treatment based on the Early Treatment of ROP (ETROP) study. Some of the cases are so challenging that at the recent ROP Update Conference – which is an accredited biennial meeting of ROP gurus and neonatologist that I also highly recommend – the exact same images and criteria were shown to the attendees and they were asked to respond resulting in varying diagnoses and management plans. As such, the training tool is great for residents, fellows, and any comprehensive, pediatric, or retina specialist performing ROP screenings who want to ensure their skills are up to date.

You do not need an AAO account if you would like to access the education module for pure learning purposes. However, if you are wanting the self-assessment credits for the activity you will need to be an active member of the AAO.

Retinopathy of Prematurity: Case-Based Training, available through the American Academy of Ophthalmology website.

Recommended by Dr. Christine Law 
Christine Law, MD, FRCSC
Practice Resource Centre Committee Member

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