Surgical, medical and developmental outcomes in patients with Down syndrome and cataracts

SAGE Open Med. 2017 Jun 19;5:2050312117715583. doi: 10.1177/2050312117715583. eCollection 2017.


Background: Individuals with Down syndrome have an increased risk for congenital cataracts, but descriptions of surgical, medical and developmental outcomes are sparse.

Materials and methods: Retrospective review of medical charts of patients with Down syndrome with visits to Cincinnati Children's Hospital from 1988 to 2013 was performed. A case series of five patients with Down syndrome and cataracts is presented. A total of 47 patients with Down syndrome without cataracts were used as a developmental control. Developmental quotients were compared using an independent-sample, unequal variance t-test.

Results: Post-operative cataract complication rates ranged from 20% to 60%. Visual outcomes were varied; significant associations between complication rate and visual outcome were not found. Developmental quotients did not show an association with number of complications, but were lower for children with Down syndrome with cataracts requiring surgery compared to children with Down syndrome without cataracts.

Conclusion: In children with Down syndrome and congenital cataract, surgical intervention has risk for post-operative complications. Further investigation is needed to determine if there is an association between surgical complications and visual or developmental outcomes.

Keywords: Congenital cataracts; Down syndrome; development; post-operative complication; trisomy 21.