One hundred eyes undergoing intracapsular cataract extraction and 100 undergoing extracapsular extraction were examined prospectively within one week postoperatively and again at 6-10 weeks postoperatively. Indirect ophthalmoscopy showed vitreous haemorrhage in 36% of the intracapsular group and 13% of the extracapsular group. Vitreous haemorrhage was significantly related to the occurrence of operative hyphaema (p less than 0.01) but not to iridectomy (p greater than 0.05). In the intracapsular group the use of chymotrypsin significantly reduced the incidence of vitreous haemorrhage (p less than 0.01). Three different types of vitreous haemorrhage were identified--streaks, diffuse haze, and beads in the vitreous base. Wound haemorrhage and operative hyphaema account for most cases, but it is suggested that zonular traction may be responsible for the bead haemorrhages and also for the retinal haemorrhages reported by other authors. Although no difference in visual result or incidence of cystoid macular oedema was observed in this study, a relationship to the vitreoretinal pathology of aphakia is suggested.
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