Risk of aphakic glaucoma after pars plana-lensectomy with and without removal of the peripheral lens capsule.


Eye Center, Medical Center, Medical Faculty, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany. [Email]


BACKGROUND : The etiology of aphakic glaucoma is unclear. It has been suggested that remaining lens epithelium releases cytokines transducing trabecular meshwork cells. Therefore, we compared two cohorts of children undergoing lensectomy. In cohort 1, the entire lens including its capsule was removed, in cohort 2 the peripheral lens capsule was left intact, also to facilitate secondary intraocular lens implantation later on.
METHODS : We included children with uni- or bilateral congenital cataract who underwent lensectomy during the first year of life with subsequent contact lenses fitting. Group 1 comprised 41 eyes, group 2 comprised 33 eyes. In group 1, the median age at surgery was 4.0 months in unilateral and 3.0 months in bilateral cases 1, in group 2, 8.1 months and 2.4 months, respectively. The mean follow-up was 12.8 years in group 1 and 9.3 years in group 2. All cases were analyzed for the prevalence of aphakic glaucoma, for visual acuity and for compliance in visual rehabilitation (contact lens/occlusion therapy).
RESULTS : We found no significant difference in glaucoma prevalence between group 1 and group 2 (p = 0.68). The overall glaucoma rate was 26% after the mean follow-up of 11 years in both groups. In unilateral cases, the median visual acuity was logMAR 0.7 in both groups. In bilateral cases it was logMAR 0.4 in group 1 and logMAR 0.2 in group 2 (p = 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS : Leaving the peripheral lens capsule intact had no negative effect on the incidence of glaucoma and on resulting visual acuity.