With the identification of oxygen overuse as the principal cause of the epidemic of retrolental fibroplasia, the retinopathy of prematurity, in the early 1950s, the effects of oxygen toxicity to the eye were established. In contrast to classic oxygen toxicity, usually associated with greater oxygen exposure, severe retinal damage resulting from inhalation of concentrations of oxygen of only 40%–50% at normal atmospheric pressure in the incubator occurred in retrolental fibroplasia. The unique susceptibility of the premature retinal vasculature to modest increases in blood oxygen was unparalleled in vascular or neural physiology.
KeywordsContinuous Positive Airway Pressure Premature Infant Arterial Oxygen Tension Central Retinal Artery Occlusion Oxygen Administration
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