Anterior segment optical coherence tomography in the assessment of postoperative intraocular lens optic changes

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2012 Jun;38(6):1077-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2012.01.027.


Purpose: To evaluate the use of anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) to assess postoperative intraocular lens (IOL) optic changes.

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

Design: Experimental study.

Methods: Intraocular lenses explanted because of various complications were used, including poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) IOLs with snowflake degeneration, hydrophilic acrylic IOLs with calcification, a silicone IOL with calcification from an eye with asteroid hyalosis, and hydrophobic acrylic IOLs explanted because of decentration, subluxation, or uveitis-glaucoma-hyphema syndrome. After gross and light microscopy, the IOLs were examined in the dry and hydrated states using AS-OCT. Selected hydrophilic acrylic IOLs were stained for calcium. In-the-bag IOLs in pseudophakic cadaver eyes were also evaluated by AS-OCT before and after explantation to confirm correspondence with the clinical situation.

Results: Intraoptic changes, such as snowflake lesions in PMMA IOLs, calcification in hydrophilic acrylic IOLs, and glistenings in hydrophobic acrylic IOLs, could be imaged by AS-OCT. The method was also helpful in analyzing the location and density. However, in cases of more superficial changes, unless the lesions/deposits were present on the optic surface with an extension to the optic substance of at least 0.1 mm, they could not be clearly differentiated from the overall outline of the IOL surface.

Conclusions: Anterior segment OCT may be helpful in assessing the presence, location, and density of intraoptic changes, avoiding a misdiagnosis of IOL opacification and the performance of unnecessary procedures, such as posterior capsulotomy or vitrectomy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Eye Segment
  • Device Removal
  • Equipment Failure Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Lenses, Intraocular*
  • Optics and Photonics / instrumentation*
  • Postoperative Complications / pathology*
  • Prosthesis Failure*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence*