Visual significance of glistenings seen in the AcrySof intraocular lens

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1996 May;22(4):452-7. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(96)80041-1.


Purpose: To investigate the visual significance of "glistenings" in acrylic intraocular lenses (IOLS).

Setting: John Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

Methods: Seventeen patients who had phacoemulsification with implantation of the AcrySof acrylic IOL were evaluated by slitlamp examination and visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and glare testing. Ten patients had a silicone posterior chamber IOL in the opposite eye and had testing with similar visual parameters for comparison. Glistenings noted in the acrylic IOLs were graded at the slitlamp. Laboratory analysis of five acrylic IOLs was also done to reproduce the glistenings noted clinically.

Results: All 17 patients with the acrylic IOLs had some lenticular glistenings, ranging from trace to 2+. Statistical analysis of visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and glare testing revealed a statistically significant difference between the acrylic and the silicone IOLs only in contrast sensitivity. Laboratory analysis of the acrylic IOLs showed similar glistenings from 48 to 72 hours after they were placed in balanced salt solution.

Conclusions: A patients who received AcrySof IOLs that came in the AcryPak had some degree of glistenings. There was also a significant decrease in contrast sensitivity compared with that of fellow eyes with silicone IOLs. The glistenings are likely caused by water vacuoles that form within the lens after hydration within the eyes. Further studies are necessary to assess the exact cause of these glistenings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrylates / adverse effects*
  • Contrast Sensitivity*
  • Humans
  • Lenses, Intraocular / adverse effects*
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Silicone Elastomers
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology


  • Acrylates
  • Silicone Elastomers