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Can cataract surgery trigger NAION in susceptible individuals, and, if so, how?
Non-arteritic ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is a relatively common disorder with an estimated annual incidence of around 10 per 100 000 population aged ⩾50 years.1 Small case series have previously suggested that cataract surgery can cause or be associated with the development of NAION, irrespective of previous occurrence of contralateral NAION. In most cases described, vision deteriorated in the immediate postoperative period or within a few weeks after surgery.
In the current issue (Lam B, et al2, (see page 585)), a retrospective study of 325 cases of unilateral NAION diagnosed between 1986 and 2001 is reported. A total of 17 patients underwent uncomplicated cataract surgery on the contralateral eye in the study period, 9 (53%) then developed NAION in the operated eye, two-thirds in …