Cataract surgery on diabetic patients. A prospective evaluation of risk factors and complications

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2002 Feb;80(1):19-24. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0420.2002.800105.x.


Purpose: This study presents an evaluation of cataract surgery on diabetic patients. One experienced surgeon carried out phaco emulsification on all subjects and the same surface-coated one-piece PMMA-lens-type was implanted. The lens fluorescence and the blood-aqueous barrier (BAB) were then evaluated as experimental preoperative risk indicators.

Results: During follow-up, 10 out of 39 diabetic patients progressed unilaterally in diabetic retinopathy or developed macular oedema, a significant relative risk. Neither lens fluorescence, BAB, HbA1c, level of retinopathy, type/duration of diabetes, diabetes treatment or antihypertensive treatment differed significantly between the group of patients with postoperative progression of retinopathy/macular oedema and those without. Results indicated NIDDM (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus/type 2 diabetes) patients might have increased risk of a postoperative macular oedema.

Conclusion: When diabetic retinopathy (DR) is not in a proliferative phase it should not be regarded as a contraindication to modern cataract surgery. Neither lens fluorescence nor BAB is valuable as a risk indicator for postoperative progression of DR.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood-Aqueous Barrier
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular*
  • Lenses, Intraocular
  • Macular Edema / etiology
  • Macular Edema / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Visual Acuity


  • Polymethyl Methacrylate