Global Practice Patterns in the Management of Infantile Cataracts

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Abstract

Objectives:

Surveys are an important tool to assess the impact of research on physicians' approach to patient care. This survey was conducted to assess current practice patterns in the management of infantile cataracts in light of the findings of the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study.

Methods:

Pediatric ophthalmologists were emailed a link to the survey using newsletters from American Association of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, World Society of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, and the Pediatric Listserv. The 17-question survey was anonymous and active during July to August 2016.

Results:

One hundred twenty-five respondents (North America, 65%; Asia, 12%; Europe, 9%; and other, 14%) reported operating on pediatric cataracts. Most practice in a university setting (55%). There was a strong consensus that unilateral cataract surgery should be performed between ages 4 to 6 weeks and aphakic contact lenses should be used to optically correct their eyes, particularly in children ≤6 months of age. For bilateral cataracts, there was a trend for surgeons to perform cataract surgery at an older age than unilateral cataract surgery. Surgeons who performed less than 5 versus greater than 20 pediatric cataract surgeries/year were more likely to use aphakic contact lenses in children undergoing cataract surgery more than 6 months of age (62% vs. 35%, P=0.04). Most respondents (73%) indicated that the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study had changed how they manage unilateral congenital cataracts.

Conclusion:

Most pediatric cataract surgeons perform congenital cataract surgery between ages 4 to 6 weeks and use aphakic contact lenses for initial optical correction in infants less than 6 months. Surgeons have equal preference for intraocular lenses and contact lenses in infants more than 6 months of age.

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