Effect of tropicamide on aqueous flare before and after cataract surgery

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2000 Mar;26(3):382-5. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(99)00404-6.


Purpose: To examine the effect of tropicamide on flare intensity under phakic and pseudophakic conditions and to differentiate between the possible mechanisms of action of tropicamide on aqueous flare.

Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Vienna General Hospital, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Methods: In this prospective study, aqueous flare was measured with the laser flare-cell meter in 20 eyes of 20 patients with age-related cataract enrolled for cataract surgery. Measurements were performed before and 30, 90, and 180 minutes after pupil dilation with tropicamide 0.5%. This measurement was performed in the phakic eye on the day before surgery and in the pseudophakic eye on postoperative days 1, 3, 7, and 28.

Results: After tropicamide instillation, aqueous flare decreased preoperatively and on all postoperative days. There was a continuous flare decrease until 3 hours after instillation, reaching a maximum decrease of about 30%. Pupil diameter reached its maximum after 30 minutes.

Conclusion: Tropicamide significantly decreased aqueous flare, seemingly by pharmacological means, not volumetric changes. The time between drug application and measurement should be kept constant.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aqueous Humor / cytology
  • Aqueous Humor / metabolism*
  • Cataract Extraction* / adverse effects
  • Cell Count / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Instillation, Drug
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Middle Aged
  • Mydriatics / therapeutic use*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pseudophakia / metabolism
  • Pupil / drug effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tropicamide / therapeutic use*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / etiology
  • Uveitis, Anterior / metabolism
  • Uveitis, Anterior / prevention & control*


  • Mydriatics
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Tropicamide