Intracameral dexamethasone reduces inflammation on the first postoperative day after cataract surgery in eyes with and without glaucoma

Clin Ophthalmol. 2009;3:345-55. doi: 10.2147/opth.s5730. Epub 2009 Jun 2.


Purpose: To evaluate whether dexamethasone injected intracamerally at the conclusion of surgery can safely and effectively reduce postoperative inflammation and improve surgical outcomes in eyes with and without glaucoma.

Methods: Retrospective chart review of 176 consecutive eyes from 146 patients receiving uncomplicated phacoemulsification (PE) (n = 118 total, 82 with glaucoma), glaucoma drainage device (GDD) (n = 35), combined PE/GDD (n = 11) and combined PE/endoscopic cyclophotocoagulation (n = 12). Ninety-one eyes from 76 patients were injected with 0.4 mg dexamethasone intracamerally at the conclusion of surgery. All eyes received standard postoperative prednisolone and ketorolac eyedrops. Outcomes were measured for four to eight weeks by subjective complaints, visual acuity (VA), slit-lamp biomicroscopy, intraocular pressure (IOP) and postoperative complications.

Results: Dexamethasone significantly reduced the odds of having an increased anterior chamber (AC) cell score after PE (p = 0.0013). Mean AC cell score +/- SD in nonglaucomatous eyes was 1.3 +/- 0.8 in control and 0.8 +/- 0.7 with dexamethasone; scores in glaucomatous eyes were 1.3 +/- 0.7 in control and 0.9 +/- 0.8 with dexamethasone. Treated nonglaucomatous eyes had significantly fewer subjective complaints after PE (22.2% vs 64.7% in control; p = 0.0083). Dexamethasone had no significant effects on VA, corneal changes, IOP one day and one month after surgery, or long-term complications.

Conclusions: Intracameral dexamethasone given at the end of cataract surgery significantly reduces postoperative AC cells in eyes with and without glaucoma, and improves subjective reports of recovery in nonglaucomatous eyes. There were no statistically significant risks of IOP elevation or other complications in glaucomatous eyes.

Keywords: cataract surgery; dexamethasone; glaucoma; inflammation; intraocular pressure; steroid.