Aim: To evaluate the effects of the dispersive viscoelastic agents Ocucoat (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose 2%) and Viscoat (sodium chondroitin sulphate 4%-sodium hyaluronate 3%) on postoperative intraocular pressure (IOP) after bilateral small incision cataract surgery.
Methods: This prospective, randomised study comprised 80 eyes of 40 consecutive patients with age related cataract in both eyes scheduled for bilateral small incision cataract surgery. The patients were randomly assigned to receive Ocucoat or Viscoat during cataract surgery of the first eye. The second eye was operated later and received the other viscoelastic agent. Cataract surgery was performed with a temporal 3.2 mm sutureless posterior limbal incision, phacoemulsification, and implantation of a foldable silicone intraocular lens. The IOP was measured preoperatively as well as 6 hours, 20-24 hours, and 1 week postoperatively.
Results: At 6 hours after surgery the mean IOP increased by 4.6 (SD 5.1) mm Hg in the Ocucoat group (p<0.001) and by 8.6 (8.1) mm Hg in the Viscoat group (p<0.001). The increase was significantly higher in the Viscoat group than in the Ocucoat group (p=0.004). Intraocular pressure spikes of 30 mm Hg or more occurred in two eyes in the Ocucoat and in nine eyes in the Viscoat group (p=0.023); 20-24 hours and 1 week postoperatively the mean IOP was not statistically different.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that Viscoat causes a significantly higher IOP increase and significantly more IOP spikes than Ocucoat in the early period after small incision cataract surgery.