Outcome of treatment for bilateral congenital cataracts

Ophthalmic Surg. 1992 Oct;23(10):650-6.


The outcome of treatment for bilateral congenital cataracts was studied retrospectively in a group of 51 patients. Two major categories of lens opacities were identified. In the first category, the opacities were extensive and visual impairment was evident early in the first year. These cataracts often occurred in eyes with small corneal diameters and poorly dilating pupils. Postoperative strabismus was nearly universal; nystagmus developed in over 50%; and late onset open-angle glaucoma developed in 8 of the 29 patients studied. Early surgery did not seem to abort the development of nystagmus in this group of patients. In the second category, the lens opacities were partial, often lamellar in configuration, and visual impairment was less severe. Surgery was usually performed after 3 years of age, with good visual results if the opacities were symmetrical and there was no nystagmus. No deprivation amblyopia developed in this group, even when surgery was delayed into the second decade. Strabismus developed postoperatively in about a third, but so far, no delayed open-angle glaucoma has been identified.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amblyopia / etiology
  • Cataract / congenital*
  • Cataract Extraction* / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nystagmus, Pathologic / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Strabismus / etiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity