Purpose: To evaluate postoperative refractive changes in aphakic and pseudophakic children in a comparative case series.
Methods: The medical records of pediatric patients with aphakia and pseudophakia were reviewed retrospectively. The mean change in refractive error from one postoperative examination to the next was calculated at each age to give aggregate curves of postoperative refractive change for each group.
Results: A total of 233 aphakic and 92 pseudophakic eyes were studied. The median age at the time of surgery was 0.8 years (range, 0.0-16 years) for patients with aphakia and 7.3 years (range, 1.5-19.9 years) for patients with pseudophakia (P <.0001). The postoperative refraction curves at comparable ages of 2 to 20 years showed a total mean myopic shift of 1.5 D for patients with pseudophakia and 7.8 D for patients with aphakia. An age-matched subset of patients with aphakia also showed more myopic shift than those with pseudophakia.
Conclusions: Pseudophakic eyes show less postoperative myopic shift than aphakic eyes. Selecting intraocular lens powers aimed at producing initial emmetropic refractions has been a good strategy in our cohort of patients with pseudophakia. However, our data are insufficient for conclusions regarding children with pseudophakia younger than 2 years, in whom larger myopic shifts may occur.