Currently, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) is increasing. Because of the poor prognosis of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), the association between ART and the ROP has been explored in several studies, but the result was still inconclusive. Conducting a meta-analysis, we evaluated the risk of ROP in relation to the ART. Subgroup analysis as well as groups with different embryo numbers and different ROP stages was further analyzed. The PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Library databases were searched for studies recording data about both the use of ART and ROP occurrence simultaneously. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence interval (95%CI) were calculated to analyze the association by using random- or fixed-effect models based on heterogeneity test. In total 15 observational studies containing 10392 ART cases and 39474 spontaneous conception cases were included. Results showed that there was a significant association between the use of ART and ROP occurrence in the offspring (OR = 1.34, 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.73, P = 0.02). With subgroup analysis, we found that the influence actually came from a subgroup of ART, the in vitro fertilization (IVF). Moreover, there was a significant association between ART and ROP in singletons. Though insignificant, the ORs were larger than 1 in the analysis between ART and stage 1 and 2 ROP. But ART showed significant association with stage 3 ROP. Our study preliminarily indicated that the use of IVF was associated with higher risk of ROP occurrence. And ART is more likely to result in severe ROP and ROP in singletons. Further specific, high-quality studies with large sample size are still needed to draw more precise conclusion.
Gao, L., Shao, W., Li, N., Tian, C., Jia, H., Peng, X., & Shi, Q. (2019). The Risk of Retinopathy of Prematurity in the Infants following Assisted Reproductive Technology: A Meta-Analysis. BioMed Research International, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2095730