RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Retinopathy of prematurity management using single-image vs multiple-image telemedicine examinations.

PURPOSE: To compare performance of single-image vs multiple-image telemedicine examinations for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) diagnosis.

DESIGN: Prospective comparative study.

METHODS: A total of 248 eyes from 67 consecutive infants underwent wide-angle retinal imaging by a trained neonatal nurse at 31 to 33 weeks and/or 35 to 37 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA) at a single academic institution. Data were uploaded to a web-based telemedicine system and interpreted by three masked retinal specialists. Diagnoses were provided based on single images, and subsequently on multiple images, from both eyes of each infant. Findings were compared to a reference standard of indirect ophthalmoscopy by a pediatric ophthalmologist. Primary outcome measures were recommended follow-up interval, presence of plus disease, presence of type-2 or worse ROP, and presence of visible peripheral ROP.

RESULTS: Among the three graders, mean sensitivity/specificity for detection of infants requiring follow-up in less than one week were 0.85/0.93 by single-image examination and 0.91/0.88 by multiple-image examination at 35 to 37 weeks PMA. Mean sensitivity/specificity for detection of infants with type-2 or worse ROP were 0.82/0.95 by single-image examination and 1.00/0.91 by multiple-image examination at 35 to 37 weeks PMA. Mean sensitivity/specificity for detection of plus disease were 1.00/0.86 by single-image examination and 1.00/0.87 by multiple-image examination at 35 to 37 weeks PMA. There were no statistically-significant intragrader differences between accuracy of single-image and multiple-image telemedicine examinations for detection of plus disease.

CONCLUSIONS: Single-image and multiple-image telemedicine examinations perform comparably for determination of recommended follow-up interval and detection of plus disease. This may have implications for development of screening protocols, particularly in areas with limited access to ophthalmic care.

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