Hydrophobic lenses produce less PCO than hydrophilic lenses

September 9, 2007

Patients implanted with a hydrophilic intraocular lens (IOL) develop more posterior capsule opacification (PCO) and have worse visual acuity (VA), contrast sensitivity and glare after two years, compared with patients implanted with a hydrophobic IOL.

Patients implanted with a hydrophilic intraocular lens (IOL) develop more posterior capsule opacification (PCO) and have worse visual acuity (VA), contrast sensitivity and glare after two years, compared with patients implanted with a hydrophobic IOL, according to Charlotta Zetterström and colleagues of St Erik's Eye Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.

Cataract surgery was performed in one eye of 120 subjects, who were randomized to receive either the hydrophilic BL27 (Bausch & Lomb) or the hydrophobic AcrySof SA60AT IOL (Alcon). Both IOLs are acrylic, single-piece lenses with a sharp edge.

After two years, the hydrophilic IOL group demonstrated significantly more PCO than the hydrophobic group, with both a greater severity (p<0.001) and area (p<0.001). Women in the hydrophobic group had significantly more PCO than men (p<0.05) for severity and area. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was also not as good in the hydrophilic group (p<0.01) and this group also showed poorer contrast sensitivity (p<0.01) and more glare (p<0.001) compared with the hydrophobic group.

The researchers concluded that hydrophobic lenses result in less PCO than hydrophilic lenses after two years.