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Long-term results of sealed capsule irrigation using distilled water to prevent posterior capsule opacification: a prospective clinical randomised trial
  1. Tanja M Rabsilber,
  2. Il-Joo Limberger,
  3. Andreas J Reuland,
  4. Mike P Holzer,
  5. Gerd U Auffarth
  1. International Vision Correction Research Centre (IVCRC), Department of Ophthalmology, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to: Gerd U Auffarth MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 400, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany; gerd.auffarth{at}


Background: We investigated long-term safety and efficacy of sealed capsule irrigation (SCI) during cataract surgery to prevent posterior capsule opacification (PCO).

Methods: One eye of each of 17 patients (mean age: 70.1±9.7 years) who presented with bilateral cataracts was randomly chosen for SCI treatment. After phacoemulsification, the capsular bag was vacuum sealed with the PerfectCapsule device (Milvella) followed by SCI using distilled water for two minutes. No vacuum loss occurred during irrigation. Each patient’s fellow eye served as a control. One hydrophilic acrylic intraocular lens model was implanted in all eyes. Five patients had to be excluded due to deep anterior chamber, small pupil or unilateral surgery. Follow-up examinations took place one day and one, three, six, 12 and 24 months after surgery. We evaluated safety parameters, anterior capsule (AC) overlapping and PCO.

Results: Postoperatively, mean best corrected visual acuity, pachymetry, endothelial cell count, intraocular pressure, AC overlapping and PCO showed no statistically significant difference between SCI and the control group (p>0.05, Wilcoxon test).

Conclusion: SCI is a safe procedure and enables the specific pharmacological targeting of lens epithelial cells inside the capsular bag. Using distilled water, however, it is not possible to reduce PCO development significantly. Thus, alternative substances should be evaluated.

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  • Published Online First 3 January 2007

  • Competing interest: None declared

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