Incidence of posterior vitreous detachment after cataract surgery

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2009 Jun;35(6):987-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2009.02.016.


Purpose: To report the incidence of posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) after uneventful state-of-the-art small-incision phacoemulsification with implantation of a posterior chamber intraocular lens (PC IOL).

Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Ludwigshafen Hospital, Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Methods: This prospective study evaluated the vitreous status of eyes by biomicroscopic examination, indirect binocular ophthalmoscopy, and B-scan ultrasonography before planned cataract surgery. Patients with the posterior vitreous attached were included for follow-up and examined 1 week, 1 month, and 1 year after uneventful phacoemulsification with PC IOL implantation. The preoperative prevalence and postoperative incidence of PVD were determined by ultrasonography.

Results: The study included 188 eyes of 188 patients (131 women, 57 men) with a mean age of 77.2 years. The mean spherical equivalent was -0.78 diopter (D) (range -8.75 to +6.25 D) and the mean axial length (AL), 23.22 mm (range 20.50 to 26.04 mm). Preoperatively, 130 eyes (69.1%) had PVD and 58 eyes (30.9%) had no PVD. Postoperatively, 12 eyes (20.7%) developed PVD at 1 week, 18 eyes (31%) at 1 month, and 4 eyes (6.9%) at 1 year. The vitreous body remained attached to the retina in 24 eyes (41.4%) 1 year after surgery. No preoperatively measured parameter (eg, age, refraction, AL, effective phacoemulsification time) was predictive of the occurrence of PVD after cataract surgery.

Conclusion: The occurrence of PVD after modern cataract surgery was frequent in cases in which the posterior hyaloid was attached to the retinal surface preoperatively.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Male
  • Microsurgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vitreous Detachment / diagnostic imaging
  • Vitreous Detachment / epidemiology*
  • Vitreous Detachment / etiology