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Primary IOL implantation in children: a risk analysis of foldable acrylic v PMMA lenses
  1. N A Rowe,
  2. S Biswas,
  3. I C Lloyd
  1. Department of Paediatric Ophthalmology, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Mr S Biswas Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WH, UK;


Background/aims: To compare the relative risks of poly (methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) and soft acrylic (AcrySof) primary intraocular lens (IOL) implantation in paediatric cataract surgery.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of clinical data was performed on eyes of 61 infants and children who underwent cataract surgery with primary IOL implantation. Age at operation ranged from 3 weeks to 15 years. Mean follow up duration was 24.5 months (range 0.5–68 months). Factors examined included type of IOL (PMMA, acrylic), performance of a primary posterior continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis (PCCC) or capsulotomy with limited anterior vitrectomy, perioperative complications, and subsequent intervention for posterior capsule opacification (PCO). Risk factors for perioperative complications were examined with 2×2 tables to give odds ratios (OR) as measures of association. A survival analysis was performed to assess risk of subsequent intervention for PCO with different IOL types. Relative risks (hazards) and confidence intervals (CI) were calculated with Cox regression to adjust for potential confounding.

Results: Compared to acrylic, PMMA IOLs were significantly associated with perioperative complications (OR 5.2, 95% CI 1.4 to 19, p = 0.01). However, IOL and type of section were highly correlated factors, and this finding may reflect risks associated with larger scleral wounds used for PMMA IOLs. No statistically significant difference in risk of subsequent intervention for PCO was found between different IOL types. Mean times till intervention for PMMA and acrylic IOLs were 30.1 months (95% CI 22 to 38) and 19.8 months (95% CI 12 to 27) respectively (log rank test statistic 1.53, one degree of freedom, p = 0.22). At 12 months post-implant surgery, 76% (95% CI 59 to 93) of PMMA cases and 54% (95% CI 35 to 72) of acrylic cases had not required intervention for PCO; these proportions fell to 55% (95% CI 35 to 75) and 38% (95% CI 14 to 61) for PMMA and acrylic cases respectively at 2 years post-surgery. After adjustment for age at surgery, primary posterior capsulorhexis, and perioperative complications relative risk of intervention after acrylic IOL implantation was 1.6 (95% CI 0.66 to 3.9, p = 0.29).

Conclusion: Primary implantation of foldable soft acrylic IOLs in paediatric eyes may allow fewer perioperative complications than rigid PMMA IOLs. Short term safety profiles of primary implantation in paediatric cataract surgery are otherwise comparable for PMMA and soft acrylic IOLs.

  • paediatric cataract
  • lens implant

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