Surgery for paediatric cataract entails increased glaucoma risk

May 2, 2008

Paediatric cataract surgery, particularly when performed in patients under the age of nine months, entails a substantial risk of post-surgical glaucoma, according to a study published in the January 2008 issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.

Paediatric cataract surgery, particularly when performed in patients under the age of nine months, entails a substantial risk of post-surgical glaucoma, according to a study published in the January 2008 issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science.

Birgitte Haargaard of Glostrup University Hospital, Denmark and colleagues performed a retrospective chart review of paediatric cataract patients (n=595; eyes=946) aged 0–17 years who underwent surgery in Denmark between 1977 and 2001.

Forty-eight patients (72 eyes) developed glaucoma subsequent to surgery for paediatric cataract. Of these, patients under the age of nine months at the time of surgery were 7.2 times more likely than older patients to develop glaucoma. In these early surgery patients, at ten years after surgery, 31.9% of patients had developed glaucoma; for late surgery patients, this was 4.1%.

As age appeared to be the only statistically significant risk factor in the analysis, the researchers concluded that paediatric cataract surgery, particularly early surgery, increases the risk of glaucoma for patients and that, because glaucoma may take up to ten years to present, careful and prolonged monitoring of IOP in these patients is necessary.