Background: To evaluate macular pigment optical density (MPOD) after bimanual femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS) compared to standard bimanual phacoemulsification (B-MICS). Methods: A prospective, case matched, comparative cohort study conducted at the Institute of Ophthalmology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy); 30 eyes underwent bimanual FLACS with low-energy Ziemer LDV Z8 (FLACS) and 30 underwent B-MICS standard technique (B-MICS). All interventions were conducted by the same expert surgeon. MPOD using the Macular Pigment Screener II (MPS II) was evaluated at baseline, 7 and 30 days after surgery. As secondary outcomes, we considered best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central macular thickness (CMT) obtained using optical coherence tomography. Results: In all cases, a BunnyLens AF IOL was safely implanted in the capsular bag through a 1.4 mm incision. We found a significant reduction in MPOD in both groups at 7 and 30 days; 0.16±0.14 and 0.10±0.12 (FLACS) and 0.18±0.13 and 0.15±0.14 (B-MICS), respectively (P<0.05). However, there was no significant difference between the two groups at either 7 (P=0.52) or 30 days (P=0.18). BCVA improved significantly in both groups and CMT increased in both groups (P<0.001, P<0.001, respectively). BCVA and CMT were similar between the groups with a significant difference in CMT in favor of the FLACS group at 30 days (P=0.017). Conclusions: MPOD was reduced in both groups without any significant difference between the FLACS and B-MICS cataract interventions. FLACS is associated with a significantly higher increase of macular thickness at 30 days compared to B-MICS.
Keywords: bimanual microincision cataract surgery (B-MICS); femtosecond laser; femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (FLACS); flicker photometry; macular pigment; macular pigment optical density (MPOD).