Cataract surgery in retinitis pigmentosa

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2021 Jul;69(7):1753-1757. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2916_20.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate visual outcomes of cataract surgery in patients with retinitis pigmentosa.

Methods: This retrospective case series includes a review of the medical records of all patients with retinitis pigmentosa undergoing cataract surgery between 2005 and 2018. The primary outcome measure was corrected distant visual acuity and change in vision impairment after surgery.

Results: Of the 103 (132) patients, 60 (58.3%) were men and 43 (41.7%) were women. The mean age of the study population was 51.3 ± 11.3 (22-74) years. The mean symptom duration was 35.4 ± 44.5 (1-300) months. The most common morphology of cataracts was a combination of nuclear sclerosis, posterior subcapsular, and cortical cataract (n = 65 eyes, 49.3%). Phacoemulsification (87 eyes, 65.9%) was the preferred surgical technique. The mean preoperative corrected distant visual acuity of 1.21 ± 0.87 log MAR units improved significantly (P < 0.001) to 0.60 ± 0.56 log MAR units after surgery. The number of blind patients reduced from 27 (26.2%) to 8 (7.8%) patients. Zonular dialysis and posterior capsule tear were seen in six (4.5%) eyes each. Good preoperative vision (odds ratio: 6.1 [95% confidence interval: 2.9-13.0], P < 0.0001) was associated with better outcome, wheras reduced central macular thickness (odds ratio: 3.5 [95% confidence interval: 1.3-9.2], P = 0.011) was associated with poor outcome.

Conclusion: A considerable number of patients presented with advanced cataracts and severe vision impairment. Significant improvement in visual acuity and alleviation of vision impairment was seen after surgery, with few complications. Good preoperative visual acuity predicted a good outcome, whereas macular thinning predicted a poor outcome.

Keywords: Cataract; cataract surgery; phacoemulsification; retinitis pigmentosa; vision impairment; visual acuity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Cataract* / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa* / complications
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa* / diagnosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult