Purpose: To identify a delayed complication of cataract surgery in patients with zonular weakness caused by pseudoexfoliation syndrome.
Design: Retrospective observational case series.
Participants: Eight eyes in seven patients with clinically diagnosed pseudoexfoliation syndrome who had undergone previous uncomplicated cataract extraction and placement of a posterior chamber intraocular lens.
Methods: This study evaluated eight cases of late spontaneous dislocation of posterior chamber intraocular lenses within the capsular bag in patients with pseudoexfoliation syndrome. Data were gathered retrospectively from patients' operative reports, medical records, and pathology reports.
Main outcome measures: (1) Interval between original surgery and dislocation; (2) final best-corrected visual acuity and ocular outcome.
Results: All patients had a diagnosis of pseudoexfoliation syndrome and had previously undergone uncomplicated cataract surgery. No patient had any other predisposing factors that would lead to zonular dehiscence or weakness. Delayed dislocation of the entire capsular bag containing the intraocular lens (IOL) occurred spontaneously in all cases. Mean time from IOL implantation to dislocation was approximately 85 months (7 years and 1 month; range, 57-115 months) after surgery. Seven eyes were treated successfully with IOL exchange: six with placement of an anterior chamber IOL and one with scleral fixation of a posterior chamber IOL. The remaining case was treated by scleral fixation of the dislocated IOL. Gross pathology analysis of seven cases confirmed the presence of the IOL within the intact capsular bag. Six eyes have achieved final best-corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better.
Conclusion: Patients with pseudoexfoliation syndrome may be at risk for delayed spontaneous dislocation of IOL within the capsular bag after uncomplicated cataract surgery. Awareness of this newly recognized long-term complication may justify a reevaluation of surgical considerations for cataract removal in these patients.