Aim: To evaluate the long-term follow-up of aphakic and pseudophakic eyes of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis with a special interest in whether intraocular lens implantation increases the risk of developing ocular complications.
Methods: Data were obtained from the medical records of 29 children (48 eyes) with JIA-associated uveitis operated on for cataract before the age of 16 years from January 1990 up to and including March 2007. Main outcome measures were long-term postsurgical complications and visual acuity in aphakic and pseudophakic eyes of children with JIA-associated uveitis.
Results: The number of complications after cataract extraction including new onset of ocular hypertension and secondary glaucoma, cystoid macular oedema and optic disc swelling did not differ between aphakic and pseudophakic eyes. Moreover, no hypotony, perilenticular membranes and phthisis were encountered in the pseudophakic group. Better visual acuity was observed in the pseudophakic eyes up to and including 7 years of follow-up (p=0.012 at 7 years of follow-up). No differences in the preoperative or adjuvant perioperative treatment with periocular or systemic corticosteroids were found between the two groups; however, significantly more children were treated with methotrexate in the pseudophakic group (p=0.006).
Conclusion: With maximum control of perioperative inflammation and intensive follow-up, the implantation of an intraocular lens in well-selected eyes of children with JIA-associated uveitis is not associated with an increased risk of ocular hypertension, secondary glaucoma, cystoid macular oedema and optic disc swelling and showed better visual results up to and including 7 years after cataract extraction.