Comparison of hydrophobic and hydrophilic intraocular lens in preventing posterior capsule opacification after cataract surgery: An updated meta-analysis

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Posterior capsular opacification (PCO) is a common long-term complication of cataract surgery. Intraocular lens design and material have been implicated in influencing the development of PCO. This study evaluated the association of hydrophobic and hydrophilic intraocular lenses on preventing PCO.


Medline, Cochrane, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases were searched until August 3, 2016, using the following search terms: cataract, posterior capsule opacification, and intraocular lens. Eligible studies included randomized controlled trials (RCTs), retrospective, and cohort studies.


Eleven studies were included in the study with a total of 889 eyes/patients. The overall analysis revealed that hydrophobic intraocular lenses were associated with lower Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy rates than hydrophilic lenses [odds ratio (OR) = 0.38, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 0.16–0.91, P = .029]. Hydrophobic intraocular lenses were also associated with lower subjective PCO score (diff. in means: −1.32, 95% CI = −2.39 to −0.25, P = .015) and estimated PCO score (diff. in means: −2.23; 95% CI, −3.80 to −0.68, P = .005) as compared with hydrophilic lenses. Objective PCO score was similar between lens types. (diff. in means: −0.075; 95% CI, −0.18 to 0.035; P = .182). Pooled analysis found that visual acuity was similar between hydrophobic and hydrophilic intraocular lenses (diff. in means: −0.016; 95% CI, −0.041 to 0.009, P = .208).


In general, PCO scores and the rate of Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy were influenced by intraocular lens biomaterial. Lens made of hydrophobic biomaterial were overall superior in lowering the PCO score and the Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy rate, but not visual acuity.

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