Anterior chamber depth, iridocorneal angle width, and intraocular pressure changes after phacoemulsification: narrow vs open iridocorneal angles

Arch Ophthalmol. 2011 Oct;129(10):1283-90. doi: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.272.


Objective: To determine the association of changes in anterior chamber angle and anterior chamber depth (ACD) with intraocular pressure (IOP) reduction after uncomplicated phacoemulsification.

Methods: In this prospective study, subjects underwent phacoemulsification with foldable lens implantation. Anterior chamber angle grading of 2 or less (Shaffer grading) in 3 or all quadrants was considered narrow angle (NA). Anterior segment optical coherence tomography and tonometry were performed preoperatively and 10 days and 1, 3, and 6 months after surgery. The ACD and angle opening distance at 500 μm anterior to the scleral spur (AOD500) were assessed from anterior segment optical coherence tomography.

Results: Data were collected from 63 eyes that underwent cataract surgery. Twenty-six eyes were classified as having NA. Before surgery, the mean (SD) AOD500 and ACD in the NA group were 0.179 (0.014) mm and 2.23 (0.07) mm, respectively. Six months after surgery, the mean (SD) AOD500 and ACD in the NA group were 0.389 (0.025) mm and 3.75 (0.05) mm, respectively. The postoperative IOP was reduced significantly in both groups. We found that each 0.1-mm increase in AOD500 corresponded to a mean (SD) 0.42 (0.18)-mm Hg decrease in IOP (P < .001) in the NA group and 0.32 (0.16) mm Hg (P = .046) in the OA group.

Conclusions: Postoperative reduction in IOP was proportional to the increase in angle in both groups, but the IOP reduction per 0.1-mm increase in AOD500 in NA eyes was greater than that in OA eyes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anterior Chamber / pathology*
  • Axial Length, Eye
  • Cornea / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology*
  • Iris / pathology*
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Male
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Tonometry, Ocular