Purpose: To study the effect of heparin-sodium added to the irrigating solution on postoperative inflammation in patients having cataract surgery.
Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, University of Giessen, Giessen, Germany.
Methods: Seventy-two patients having phacoemulsification with posterior chamber intraocular lens (IOL) implantation were randomly assigned to receive regular irrigating solution or solution with heparin-sodium (final diluted concentration 10 IU/mL). In half the patients, poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) IOLs were implanted and in half, foldable silicone IOLs. The patients were examined preoperatively, on days 1 and 3, and 1 year postoperatively. Postoperative inflammation was objectively evaluated by measurement of flare and cells using laser flare-cell photometry.
Results: The mean postoperative flare values were significantly lower in the groups with additional heparin-sodium at days 1 and 3 (P < . 01). Flare values were not significantly different 1 year postoperatively. Cell values for the heparin-treated groups were lower, but the difference did not reach statistical significance. Flare and cells values for the two IOL materials were not significantly different during the entire follow-up.
Conclusion: Heparin-sodium added to the infusion solution during small incision cataract surgery reduced inflammation in the early postoperative period.