Paediatric patching not necessary

August 18, 2008

Early unilateral cataract surgery in infants can produce good visual outcomes even if patching is discontinued, according to a study in the August 2008 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Early unilateral cataract surgery in infants can produce good visual outcomes even if patching is discontinued, according to a study in the August 2008 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Scott R. Lambert, MD of Emory Eye Center, Atlanta, US and colleagues conducted a medical record review of paediatric subjects (n=9) who had undergone surgery to treat unilateral congenital cataract at a mean age of 21.7 days. Subjects had remained patched for a mean 6.7 hours/day until at least 12 months of age, after which patching compliance declined to a mean of 1.7 hours/day by six years of age.

Four children abandoned patching entirely before their sixth birthdays: three maintained or increased visual acuity, whereas the fourth child lost two lines.

The researchers concluded that, if patients comply with the prescribed patching regime in early childhood, visual acuity can be maintained if patching is discontinued before the patient reaches six years of age.