Aim: To determine the risk factors for developing phacomorphic glaucoma in eyes with mature cataracts.
Materials and methods: This is a case-control study comprising of 90 eyes with phacomorphic glaucoma and 90 age- and sex-matched control eyes with mature cataracts without phacomorphic glaucoma. Patients with pre-existing glaucoma, previous intraocular surgery and /or absence of documented axial lengths were excluded from this study. Binary logistic regression analysis of the variables, axial length and anterior chamber depth, was performed. Anterior chamber depth of the contralateral eye was used as a proxy measure of the pre-phacomorphic state in the eye with phacomorphic glaucoma as majority of them first presented to our center during the phacomorphic attack without prior measurements of the pre-phacomorphic ACD or lens thickness; therefore, their anterior chamber depth would not be representative of their pre-phacomorphic state. Axial length of 23.7 mm was selected as a cut-off for dichotomized logistic regression based on the local population mean from published demographic data.
Results: The mean age was 73.1 ± 10.2 years. All phacomorphic and control eyes were ethnic Chinese. The mean presenting intraocular pressures were 49.5 ± 11.8 mmHg and 16.7 ± 1.7 mmHg in the phacomorphic and control eyes respectively (P< 0.0001), whilst the median Snellen best corrected visual acuity were light perception and hand movement in the phacomorphic and control eyes respectively. Eyes with phacomorphic glaucoma had shorter axial length of 23.1 ± 0.9 mm median when compared with that of control eyes, 23.7 ± 1.5 mm (P = 0.0006). Eyes with AL ≤ 23.7 mm were 4.3 times as likely to develop phacomorphic glaucoma when compared with AL > 23.7 mm (P = 0.003).
Conclusion: Axial length less than ≤ 23.7 mm was a risk factor for developing phacomorphic glaucoma. Eyes with AL shorter than the population mean were 4.3 times as likely to develop phacomorphic glaucoma compared with eyes with longer than average AL. In an area where phacomorphic glaucoma is prevalent and medical resources are limited, patients with AL shorter than their population mean may be considered for earlier elective cataract extraction as a preventive measure.