Effect of heparin in irrigating solution on inflammation following small incision cataract surgery

J Cataract Refract Surg. 1998 Feb;24(2):237-43. doi: 10.1016/s0886-3350(98)80205-8.


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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Endophthalmitis / etiology
  • Endophthalmitis / prevention & control*
  • Heparin / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Phacoemulsification* / adverse effects
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Silicone Elastomers
  • Suture Techniques*
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods*


  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Silicone Elastomers
  • Heparin
  • Polymethyl Methacrylate