Phacoemulsification and primary implantation with bag-in-the-lens intraocular lens in children with unilateral and bilateral cataract

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To report outcome in a paediatric cohort with cataract extraction and implantation of bag-in-the-lens intraocular lens (BIL-IOL).


Children younger than 16 years of age subjected to phacoemulsification with primary implantation of BIL-IOL during 2009 through 2013 were analysed retrospectively. Exclusion criteria were uveitis or ≤6 months of follow-up.


In total, 109 eyes of 84 children were included; 40 unilateral and 44 bilateral cataracts. For all eyes, median age at surgery was 2.5 years (range 2 weeks to 14.1 years) and 16 children (24 eyes) were ≤6 weeks. Coexisting systemic disease was more common in children with bilateral cataract (24 patients, 54.5%) compared to unilateral cataract (6 patients, 15.0%, p < 0.0001). Ocular comorbidity was more common in unilateral cataracts; n = 14 eyes (35.0%) compared to bilateral cataracts; n = 10 eyes (14.5%; p = 0.017). Median follow-up was 2.8 years (range 7 months to 5.8 years). During the follow-up period, 15 (13.8%) eyes developed glaucoma and five (4.6%) eyes required treatment for visual axis opacification (VAO). Corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) for bilateral cataracts at last follow-up was 0.42 ± 0.45 (logMAR; mean±SD) with 35 (55.6%) eyes attaining a CDVA of ≥0.5 (dec). For unilateral cataracts mean CDVA was significantly poorer; 0.67 ± 0.51 (p = 0.010) with 15 (37.5%) eyes attaining a CDVA of ≥0.5.


For children having cataract surgery with primary implantation of BIL-IOL, VAO is rare and visual outcome overall good. Unilateral cataracts are associated with a higher proportion of ocular comorbidity and poorer visual outcome.

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