Purpose: To ascertain the incidence of cystoid macular edema (CME) after phacoemulsification and its relationship to blood-aqueous barrier damage and visual acuity.
Setting: A British teaching hospital.
Methods: A prospective trial was performed to document the incidence of CME after routine phacoemulsification with continuous curvilinear capsulorhexis. LogMAR visual acuity and laser flare were measured using the KOWA FC 1000 laser cell-flare meter preoperatively and 1, 14, 30, and 60 days postoperatively. At day 60, a standardized fluorescein angiogram was performed and graded by masked observers.
Results: The rate of angiographic CME on day 60 was 19%. Visual acuity at each visit was significantly worse in the CME group (P < .05). The flare and cell values at days 14, 30, and 60 were higher in the CME group at day 60; however, the difference was not statistically significance (P > .05).
Conclusions: The incidence of CME after routine phacoemulsification was 19%. Patients with CME at day 60 had significantly worse visual acuity than those who did not from the first postoperative day throughout the follow-up. There was a trend for patients who had CME at day 60 to have more postoperative inflammation.