Purpose: To estimate the cumulative incidence of posterior capsule opacification 4 years after surgery in patients who participated in the Madurai Intraocular Lens Study and had extracapsular cataract extraction with posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation.
Methods: In the Madurai Intraocular Lens Study, 1,700 patients with best-corrected visual acuity 20/120 or worse in the better eye had extracapsular cataract extraction with posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation, and 1,474 (86.7%) of these completed the 1-year follow-up examination. From this group of 1,474 pseudophakic patients, 400 were randomly selected for reexamination 4 years after the original surgery. The eye that was operated on was examined by an ophthalmologist who was involved in the 1-year follow-up examinations and posterior capsule opacification grading. A grading of I to III was used to reflect the degree of opacification. With grades II and III, posterior capsule opacification detectable with an undilated pupil was present in the central axis.
Results: Three hundred twenty-seven (81.8%) of the selected population were examined between October 1997 and December 1998. Thirty-four (8.5%) were confirmed as being deceased, and 39 (9.8%) were unavailable for follow-up. The median age was 60 years, and 57.2% were women. The 4-year incidence of grade II or III posterior capsule opacification, including eyes already treated with laser capsulotomy, was 13.1% (95% confidence interval [CI], 9.7% to 17.3%). Each year of increased age was associated with a decreased risk of posterior capsule opacification (odds ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.92 to 1.00). Based on best-corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or worse without co-existing pathology, the 4-year incidence of posterior capsule opacification was 13.5%.
Conclusion: Because patients with relatively mature cataracts routinely receive extracapsular cataract extraction with posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation instead of the traditional intracapsular extraction, the subsequent need for laser capsulotomy may be less than that anticipated, based on previous reports.