Pathology of 219 human cadaver eyes with 1-piece or 3-piece hydrophobic acrylic intraocular lenses: capsular bag opacification and sites of square-edged barrier breach

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2011 May;37(5):923-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2010.11.036. Epub 2011 Mar 21.


Purpose: To assess capsular bag opacification and sites of initial posterior capsule opacification (PCO) in human cadaver eyes with square-edged 1-piece or 3-piece hydrophobic acrylic intraocular lenses (IOLs).

Setting: John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Design: Experimental study.

Methods: Eyes were immersed in 10% formalin after enucleation and had anterior segment scanning with very-high-frequency ultrasound (Artemis). After the eyes were sectioned at the equator, gross examination of the anterior segment was performed from the posterior aspect to assess capsular bag opacification, anterior capsule coverage of the IOL edge, and IOL fixation. Selected eyes had histopathologic examination.

Results: One hundred nineteen eyes with 1-piece IOLs and 100 with 3-piece IOLs were included in the analyses of capsular bag opacification. There was no difference in central (P=.29) or peripheral (P=.76) PCO. In 63 of 84 eyes with a 1-piece IOL and peripheral PCO, the optic-haptic junction was the site of initiation. In eyes with a 3-piece IOL, initial peripheral PCO was observed at nearly the same rate whether there was full 360-degree anterior capsulorhexis overlap of the optic or no overlap (P=.13). In the latter, the site of PCO initiation was in areas lacking capsulorhexis coverage in 46% of eyes.

Conclusions: There was no difference in central or peripheral PCO between 1-piece and 3-piece hydrophobic acrylic IOLs. With 1-piece IOLs, PCO tended to start at the optic-haptic junctions. With 3-piece IOLs, full anterior capsule coverage did not produce a statistically significant benefit with respect to PCO prevention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrylic Resins
  • Cadaver
  • Capsule Opacification / etiology
  • Capsule Opacification / pathology*
  • Capsule Opacification / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / diagnostic imaging
  • Lens Capsule, Crystalline / pathology*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular*
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Pseudophakia / etiology
  • Pseudophakia / pathology
  • Ultrasonography


  • Acrylic Resins