Rate of axial growth after congenital cataract surgery

Am J Ophthalmol. 2004 Dec;138(6):915-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2004.06.068.


Purpose: To evaluate the rate of axial growth after congenital cataract surgery.

Design: Prospective observational case series.

Methods: Rate of axial growth of 158 eyes (79 children < 10 years) undergoing surgery was correlated with age at surgery, laterality, and visual axis obscuration. After measuring axial length (AL) at each follow-up, the mean AL was calculated, adding the AL of all eyes divided by their total number. Rate of axial growth is the percentage difference between preoperative mean AL and mean AL at last follow up. The temporal profile of RAG is the difference between two consecutive mean ALs with respect to the previous reading. The follow-up period was 58.96 +/- 2.02 months. The student' paired t test and independent sample t test were applied. The main outcome measure was RAG.

Results: Rate of axial growth in children operated at < or = 1 year (23.5%) was significantly higher than in those at < or = 3 years (4.8%; P = .0001, confidence interval [CI] 1.05-3.2) and at < or = 10 years (4.3%; P = .0001, CI 1.3-3.1). In children operated at <or = 1 year, temporal profile of RAG was higher in the first 2 years after surgery. Rate of axial growth was higher in patients with unilateral pseudophakia at < or = 1 year (25.53%) than in age-matched patients with bilateral pseudophakia (18.50%; P = .001, CI -13 to -0.2). Rate of axial growth was negligible in children with visual axis obscuration in any group.

Conclusion: Rate of axial growth is higher in children < or = 1 year and increases until the second year after surgery. Unilateral pseudophakia revealed accelerated growth compared with bilateral pseudophakia. Visual axis obscuration does not influence rate of axial growth.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aphakia, Postcataract / metabolism
  • Capsulorhexis*
  • Cataract / congenital*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Eye / growth & development*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Male
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pseudophakia / metabolism
  • Visual Acuity