Context: Bilateral pediatric cataracts are important cause of visual impairment in children.
Aim: To study the outcome of bilateral pediatric cataract surgery in young children.
Setting and design: Retrospective case series in a tertiary center.
Materials and methods: Records of pediatric cataracts operated between January 2001 and December 2003, with a minimum follow-up of 3 months, were reviewed retrospectively.
Statistical methods: Independent sample t-test, Fisher's exact test, and logistic regression using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science, Chicago, USA) version 12.
Results: 215/257 (83.7%) patients had a minimum follow-up of 3 months. The mean age of presentation to the hospital was 53 months (range: 0-168 months). Congenital cataract was present in 107 patients (58.2%) and developmental cataract in 77 patients (41.8%). The mean age at surgery was 55.2 months (range: 1-168 months). Out of 430 eyes, 269 (62.6%) had an intraocular lens implanted. The mean duration of follow-up was 13.1 months (range: 3-38 months). Pre-operatively, 102 patients (47.3%) had visual acuity <6/60, in the better eye, compared to 37 patients (17.2%) post-operatively ( P < 0.001). Eighty-five patients (39.5%) had visual acuity >6/18. The most common early post-operative complication was fibrinous uveitis in 57 eyes (13.3%) and the most common delayed post-operative complication was posterior capsular opacification in 118 eyes (27.4%). The most important prognostic factor for poor outcome was congenital cataract (odds ratio [OR]: 26.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 4.4-158.5) and total cataract (OR: 4.8; 95% CI, 1.3-17).
Conclusion: Nearly half of the eyes had visual acuity >6/18. The outcome was poorer in congenital cataracts, especially those operated after >1 year of age.