Fluorescein angiograms were done on infants who developed retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) while enrolled on a double-blind protocol to determine the effect of dl-α-tocopherol (vitamin E) on the premature retina. This study included one-hundred infants who weighed ≤1500 grams at birth and who developed respiratory distress. They were given orally either 5 mg/kg/day (control) or 100 mg/kg/day (experimental) of vitamin E throughout their hospital stay at Texas Children's Hospital. The angiograms demonstrated that the pathology which developed in the peripheral retina of infants receiving high doses of vitamin E was not different from, but only less severe than, that which developed in infants receiving low doses of vitamin E.
Both light and electron microscopic analyses were done on the eyes of two infants who died while on the study:
The infant on low doses of vitamin E demonstrated the vanguard shunt with rearguard retinopathy and intravitreal hemorrhage. The infant on high doses of vitamin E showed no such changes and the nerve fiber layer was free of abnormal neovascularization.
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Monaco, W., Hittner, H., Kretzer, F. et al. 1380 RETINOPATHY OF PREMATURITY: FLUORESCEIN ANGIOGRAPHIC AND HISTOPATHOLOGIC STUDIES ON INFANTS RECEIVING HIGH AND LOW DOSES OF VITAMIN E. Pediatr Res 15, 673 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-198104001-01409