Objective: To compare the visual outcomes and adverse events of contact lens with primary intraocular lens (IOL) correction of monocular aphakia during infancy.
Methods: In a randomized, multicenter (12 sites) clinical trial, 114 infants with a unilateral congenital cataract were assigned to undergo cataract surgery between 1 to 6 months of age either with or without primary IOL implantation. Contact lenses were used to correct aphakia in patients who did not receive IOLs. Grating visual acuity was tested at 1 year of age by a masked traveling examiner.
Main outcome measure: Grating visual acuity at 1 year of age.
Results: The median logMAR visual acuity was not significantly different between the treated eyes in the 2 groups (contact lens group, 0.80; IOL group, 0.97; P = .19). More patients in the IOL group underwent 1 or more additional intraocular operations than patients in the contact lens group (63% vs 12%; P < .001). Most of these additional operations were performed to clear lens reproliferation and pupillary membranes from the visual axis.
Conclusions: There was no statistically significant difference in grating visual acuity at age 1 year between the IOL and contact lens groups; however, additional intraocular operations were performed more frequently in the IOL group.
Application to clinical practice: Until longer-term follow-up data are available, caution should be exercised when performing IOL implantation in children aged 6 months or younger given the higher incidence of adverse events and the absence of an improved short-term visual outcome compared with contact lens use.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00212134.