Purpose: To evaluate the influence of a neodymium:YAG (Nd:YAG) laser capsulotomy on the morphology and development of regeneratory opacification of the remaining surrounding posterior capsule.
Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Medical School, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Methods: Standardized digital retroillumination photographs were taken immediately before and after Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy and at 1 week, 6 months, and 1 to 3 years in 38 eyes of consecutive patients. Changes in regeneratory posterior capsule opacification (PCO) and opacification around the capsulotomy opening were evaluated. The influence of the type of intraocular lens (IOL) material and design (acrylic, n = 8; hydrogel, n = 8; silicone open loop, n = 11; silicone plate haptic, n = 6; poly(methyl methacrylate) [PMMA], n = 5) was assessed. The state of the anterior vitreous surface was examined at the slitlamp in all eyes.
Results: In 8 of 17 eyes with a silicone IOL, reduced regeneratory PCO was observed. Massive pearl formation on the margin of the Nd:YAG capsulotomy was typical with silicone IOLs (8 eyes) but also occurred with PMMA IOLs. Eyes with acrylic IOLs had no change in regeneratory PCO after the capsulotomy. Three of 8 eyes with hydrogel IOLs had complete closure of the posterior capsulotomy opening.
Conclusions: Neodymium:YAG laser capsulotomy induced changes in the development and morphology of regeneratory PCO. Silicone and PMMA IOLs led to significant pearl formation on the capsulotomy margin, often combined with a reduction of peripheral regeneratory PCO (silicone). Hydrogel IOLs led to a higher incidence of reclosure of the Nd:YAG capsulotomy opening.