Purpose: We sought to report interocular axial length difference (IALD) between the operated eye and fellow eye at the time of pediatric cataract surgery.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of 171 cataractous (operated) eyes (mean patient age at surgery, 56.9 months; range, 0.2-230.0) was undertaken. Descriptive statistics, analysis of covariance, and regression analysis were used in statistical analysis.
Results: The mean IALD was 0.05 +/- 1.15 mm. If absolute values were used, mean IALD was 0.76 +/- 0.86. Nearly half of the subjects (48.0%) showed an IALD of >/=0.5 mm. Forty-one patients (24.0%) had operated (cataractous) eyes that were >/=0.5 mm shorter than the fellow eye, and 41 patients (24.0%) had operated eyes that were >/=0.5 mm longer than the fellow eye. The mean IALD in unilateral and bilateral cases was 0.10 +/- 1.33 and -0.03 +/- 0.76, respectively (P = 0.4). If absolute values were used, it was 0.98 +/- 0.90 and 0.40 +/- 0.65 in unilateral and bilateral cases, respectively (P < 0.001). IALD was more predictable in unilateral than in bilateral cases (P < 0.001). In unilateral cases, age at surgery (P = 0.04) and AL of the operated eye (P < 0.001) correlated with IALD. IALD did not correlate with gender, ethnicity, or type of cataract in either unilateral or bilateral cases.
Conclusions: An IALD of >/=0.5 mm occurred in 48.0% of patients with pediatric cataracts and occurred more often with unilateral cataractous patients than with bilateral cases. In patients with unilateral cataract, age at surgery and AL of the operated eye could help predict the IALD.