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Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) is one of the most common causes of childhood blindness worldwide. Comparisons of anti-VEGF and laser treatments in ROP are relatively lacking, and the data are scattered and limited. The objective of this meta-analysis is to compare the efficacy of both treatments in type-1 and threshold ROP.
A comprehensive literature search on ROP treatment was conducted using PubMed and Embase up to March 2017 in all languages. Major evaluation indexes were extracted from the included studies by two authors. The fixed-effects and random-effects models were used to measure the pooled estimates. The test of heterogeneity was performed using the Q statistic.
Ten studies were included in this meta-analysis. Retreatment incidence was significantly increased for anti-VEGF (OR 2.52; 95% CI 1.37 to 4.66; P = 0.003) compared to the laser treatment, while the incidences of eye complications (OR 0.29; 95% CI 0.10 to 0.82; P = 0.02) and myopia were significantly decreased with anti-VEGF compared to the laser treatment. However, there was no difference in the recurrence incidence (OR 1.86; 95% CI 0.37 to 9.40; P = 0.45) and time between treatment and retreatment (WMD 7.54 weeks; 95% CI 2.00 to 17.08; P = 0.12).
This meta-analysis indicates that laser treatment may be more efficacious than anti-VEGF treatment. However, the results of this meta-analysis also suggest that laser treatment may cause more eye complications and increase myopia. Large-scale prospective RCTs should be performed to assess the efficacy and safety of anti-VEGF versus laser treatment in the future.