Purpose: To determine the incidence of glaucoma following cataract surgery in children and to identify surgically modifiable risk factors that may influence the development of glaucoma in these eyes.
Methods: All lensectomies performed in patients 18 years old or younger over a 7-year period (1995 through 2001) were identified by conducting a database search. A retrospective chart review was performed for every patient identified. Data extraction included patient's age at surgery, intraocular lens implantation at cataract extraction, date of glaucoma onset, and length of follow-up. Statistical methods included risk ratio calculations and Kaplan-Meier analyses for the "time to glaucoma" for eyes undergoing lensectomy.
Results: We identified 116 eyes of 79 children in whom lensectomy was performed. The median age at cataract surgery was 178 days (approval 6 months). Mean follow-up time was 2.7 years. The overall incidence of glaucoma was 11%. Kaplan-Meier analysis demonstrated that eyes operated on at less than 30 days of age were statistically more likely to develop glaucoma than eyes operated on at age 30 days or older (P < .001). For those operated on at less than 30 days of age, the risk ratio was 11.8 for subsequent glaucoma development compared with those operated on at 30 days of age or older. Forty-nine eyes (42%) had primary intraocular lens implantation, and none of these developed glaucoma (P = .001).
Conclusions: Timing of surgery at less than 30 days of age and lack of implantation of an intraocular lens at lensectomy were both associated with an increased risk of subsequent glaucoma. Knowledge of modifiable risk factors is essential to allow ophthalmic surgeons to make cogent decisions regarding the care of children with cataracts.