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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, MD, FRCOG, Joachim W.

Ed. by Bancalari, Eduardo / Chappelle, Joseph / Chervenak, Frank A. / D'Addario , Vincenzo / Genc, Mehmet R. / Greenough, Anne / Grunebaum, Amos / Konje, Justin C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Romero, Roberto / Zalud, MD PhD, Ivica

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Volume 44, Issue 5


Oral propranolol in early stages of retinopathy of prematurity

Aldo Bancalari / Ricardo Schade / Tomás Muñoz / Carolina Lazcano / Rodrigo Parada / Rubén Peña
Published Online: 2016-02-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2015-0357


Objective: To assess the effect of oral propranolol on the progression of early stages of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants.

Methods: We analyzed VLBW infants with ROP (stages 2–3, zones II-III). Newborns received oral propranolol (0.5 mg/kg/dose q8h), and were monitored throughout the treatment period for possible side effects. Propranolol was administered until regression of ROP. A historic control group of patients with equivalent ROP was used. We compared characteristics of both groups and the progression of retinopathy.

Results: Forty-seven newborns were included, 20 in the propranolol group and 27 in the control group. There were no significant differences in gestational age, birthweight or gender. The mean duration of treatment with propranolol was 58.2±17.6 days. Most patients started treatment with stage 2 disease (65.0%), and had zone III involvement (55.0%). In the treated group, 90.0% (18/20) of patients did not require intervention with laser or bevacizumab, compared to 51.8% in the control group (P<0.005). No cases of bradycardia, hypotension or hypoglycemia were observed.

Conclusions: Oral propranolol in early stages of ROP could prevent disease progression and reduce the need for invasive rescue therapy with laser or bevacizumab. No significant side effects were reported.

Keywords: Beta-adrenoreceptor; beta-blockers; prematurity; propranolol; retinal neovascularization; ROP; very low birthweight


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About the article

Corresponding author: Dr. Aldo Bancalari, San Martin 1436, Concepción, Chile 4070038, Tel.: 56-41-2722698, E-mail: ; and Neonatology Department, Guillermo Grant Benavente Hospital, Concepción, Biobio, Chile

Received: 2015-10-22

Accepted: 2015-12-22

Published Online: 2016-02-04

Published in Print: 2016-07-01

Funding: No additional funding, equipment or supplies were necessary.

The authors stated that there are no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this article.

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Volume 44, Issue 5, Pages 499–503, ISSN (Online) 1619-3997, ISSN (Print) 0300-5577, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jpm-2015-0357.

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