The safety of intracameral phenylephrine - A systematic review

Surv Ophthalmol. 2022 Sep-Oct;67(5):1540-1546. doi: 10.1016/j.survophthal.2022.06.002. Epub 2022 Jun 9.


Intracameral phenylephrine is commonly used in ophthalmic surgery as an alternative or supplement to mydriatic eye drops; hence, the importance of an evidence-based understanding of its risk-benefit profile is vital. We performed a comprehensive search in the PubMed, Google Scholar, and Cochrane databases for published studies and case reports relating to the use of intracameral phenylephrine. Articles from 1958 to 2021 with the following keywords were used: "intracameral phenylephrine," "intracameral mydriatics," "phenylephrine," "pupil dilation," "complications." Intracameral phenylephrine was first used in 2003 as an alternative to topical mydriatics. Since then, it is being increasingly used with a variety of benefits, including rapid onset of mydriasis, and cost-effectiveness. There are various case reports, however, of ocular and systemic complications associated with intracameral phenylephrine such as generation of free radicals, toxic anterior segment syndrome, inconsistent pupillary dilation during surgery, and ventricular fibrillation. Alternatives to intracameral phenylephrine such as iris hooks, a Malyugin ring, intracameral epinephrine, and intracameral tropicamide were compared with intracameral phenylephrine. Intracameral phenylephrine appears to have a good safety profile.

Keywords: Alternatives; Complications; Intracameral; Mydriatics; Ocular; Phenylephrine; Systemic.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lidocaine
  • Mydriatics* / adverse effects
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / adverse effects
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Phenylephrine / adverse effects
  • Pupil


  • Mydriatics
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Phenylephrine
  • Lidocaine