Background: At the Alberta Children's Hospital, the authors have been performing paediatric cataract extraction with intraocular lens (IOL) implant for over 10 years. The authors examined the amount of myopic shift that occurs in various age groups and cataract types, in order to evaluate the success of predicting the appropriate power of IOL to implant.
Methods: This study is a retrospective review children undergoing small incision posterior chamber foldable IOL implantation between age 1 month and 18 years, from 1995 to 2005. 163 eyes of 126 patients underwent surgery. All patients were followed for a minimum of 6 months postoperatively. The children were divided into four groups at time of surgery: Group A: 1-24 months, Group B: 25-48 months, Group C: 49-84 months, Group D: 85 months-18 years.
Results: The mean target refraction for the groups were: Group A: +6.37 D, Group B: +4.66 D, Group C: +1.95 D, and Group D: +0.97 D. Children under 4 years experienced the most myopic shift and the largest mean rate of refractive change per year. Mean change Group A: -5.43 D, Group B: -4.16 D, Group C: -1.58 D, Group D: -0.71 D. Eighty-nine per cent of patients with unilateral cataracts had a postoperative refraction within 3.00 D of the fellow eye at last follow-up visit (mean=3.16 years).
Conclusions: The rate of myopic shift is high in children under age 4 years at time of surgery, shifting as much as -12.00 D. The mean postoperative target refraction should probably be increased from previous literature recommendations. The patient's age at time of cataract surgery and the refractive power of fellow eye are all factors to consider when deciding what power IOL to surgically implant in a paediatric patient.