Purpose: To evaluate visual outcome and complications after extracapsular cataract extraction with posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation in children.
Methods: Extracapsular cataract extraction with posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation was performed on 20 eyes of 19 patients with traumatic cataract, ten eyes with unilateral congenital or developmental cataract, and 15 eyes (eight patients) with bilateral developmental cataract. Nd:YAG posterior capsulotomy was performed in the early postoperative period as indicated.
Results: Fourteen (70%) of 20 eyes with traumatic cataract had best-corrected pseudophakic visual acuity of 20/40 or better. When we excluded four eyes with macular injuries from analysis, 14 (87%) of 16 eyes had visual acuity of 20/40 or better. In patients with bilateral cataract in whom vision was quantified by Snellen acuity (nine eyes of five patients), nine of nine eyes had best-corrected pseudophakic visual acuity of 20/40 or better. In the remaining three patients, six of six eyes had central steady and maintained fixation. Visual outcome was poorest in patients with unilateral cataract (ten eyes); one eye had best-corrected pseudophakic visual acuity of 20/40; two eyes, 20/60; two eyes, 20/70; one eye, 20/100; and two eyes, 20/200. One additional eye had central steady maintained fixation and noncentral fixation. Five of ten eyes had four or more lines improvement in visual acuity. Postoperative complications occurred in five eyes, each of which had traumatic cataract. Three eyes developed iris capture, one eye had a postoperative intraocular hemorrhage, and another developed a dense secondary membrane. In 45 postoperative postoperative eyes, 27 (60%) received one Nd:YAG laser posterior capsulotomy. A second Nd:YAG laser posterior capsulotomy was performed in 11 (41%) of these 27 eyes.
Conclusions: Extracapsular cataract extraction with posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation in children can be accomplished in selected patients, with generally favorable results. However, many of the patients in this series remain potentially amblyogenic, and long-term follow-up may temper our present visual results.