Refractive surgery for high bilateral myopia in children with neurobehavioral disorders: 1. Clear lens extraction and refractive lens exchange

J AAPOS. 2006 Aug;10(4):357-63. doi: 10.1016/j.jaapos.2006.04.003.


Introduction: A subpopulation of children with high myopia and neurobehavioral disorders is noncompliant with spectacle wear and ill-suited to correction using contact lenses. We report the results of refractive surgery in a series of these children treated using lensectomy alone (clear lens extraction), or lensectomy with simultaneous implantation of an intraocular lens (refractive lens exchange).

Methods: Clinical course and outcome data were collated prospectively in a group of 13 children (mean age 10.4 years, range 1 to 18 years) with neurobehavioral disorders exacerbated by chronic noncompliance with spectacle wear, causing profoundly low functional vision. Myopia in the 26 eyes ranged from -14.25 to -26.00 D (mean -19.1 D). Goal refraction was approximately +1 D. Correction was achieved by lensectomy alone in 10 eyes, and lensectomy with intraocular lens implantation in 16 eyes. Primary posterior capsulectomy/subtotal vitrectomy was performed during the primary procedure in 11 eyes (42%). Mean follow-up was 4.5 years (range 1.3 to 7.5 years).

Results: Myopia correction averaged 19.9 D. Eighty-one percent (21 eyes) were corrected to within +/-2 D of goal refraction and the remaining 19% (5 eyes) to within +/-4 D. Uncorrected acuity improved substantially (ie, an average 2 log units) in all 26 eyes, with commensurate gains in behavior and environmental visual interaction in 85% [corrected] of children (11/13) [corrected] Myopic regression averaged -0.16 D/year. Capsular regrowth and/or opacification necessitated vitrector or YAG-laser membranectomy in 13 [corrected] eyes (50%) [corrected] Focal retinal detachment (successfully repaired) occurred after eye contusion in one eye (4%) with cicatricial retinopathy of prematurity.

Conclusions: Bilateral refractive lensectomy is effective for improving functional vision in neurobehaviorally impaired children who have high myopia (beyond the range of excimer laser correction: see companion publication) and difficulties wearing glasses. Posterior capsule regrowth/opacification is common, necessitating secondary membranectomy. Further study is indicated to determine the long-term safety of this procedure in similar pediatric populations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / physiopathology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / surgery*
  • Device Removal
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / surgery
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular*
  • Lens, Crystalline / surgery*
  • Male
  • Myopia / physiopathology
  • Myopia / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Refraction, Ocular / physiology
  • Reoperation
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Vitrectomy