Background: Late-onset glaucoma can occur after pediatric cataract surgery. However, no large prospective study of the prevalence of ocular hypertension and glaucoma after pediatric cataract surgery has been performed.
Methods: A prospective glaucoma evaluation was offered to all eligible subjects at least 5 years after automated lensectomy and vitrectomy for pediatric cataracts.
Results: Sixty-two (58%) of 107 eligible subjects received a glaucoma evaluation. One (4.5%) of 22 patients with bilateral cataracts had glaucoma, and a much higher percentage (45%) had ocular hypertension. Five (12.5%) of 40 patients with unilateral cataracts had glaucoma, and an additional 32.5% had ocular hypertension. For patients with monocular cataracts, the age and corneal diameter at the time of cataract surgery were related to the subsequent development of ocular hypertension or glaucoma. The majority of subjects were able to cooperate with a comprehensive glaucoma examination that included cycloplegic refraction, determination of intraocular pressure, examination of the optic nerve, and fundus photography, without requiring sedation.
Conclusions: There is a high prevalence of ocular hypertension after pediatric cataract surgery. Children who are 5 years of age and older usually are able to cooperate with a glaucoma evaluation. The natural history of ocular hypertension after pediatric cataract surgery will be determined with longitudinal studies in the future.