CATARACT SURGERY IN YOUNG ADULTS: ARE THERE DIFFERENCES TO SENIOR PATIENTS?
H. Claßen, G.W. Nietgen, Th. Kauffmann, S. Bodanowitz
Background: In contrast to cataract surgery in young adults (age 20 to 40) this type of procedure and its outcome is clinically well investigated in older patients. In this investigation we elucidate clinical parameters in our young patient population that might differ from older patients.
Methods: In a retrospective investigation we examined all data of patients age 20 to 40 which underwent cataract surgery at our institution between 1993 and 1996. Routine technique was nuclear emulsification combined with a sutureless scleral tunnel with implantation of a PMMA intraocular lens. Sixty eyes from 51 patients were investigated (27 female, 24 males) with a mean age of 33.4 years (range from 21 to 40 years). Patients had follow-ups of 28.3 months in average (range 12 to 52 months). Exclusion criteria from this study was cataract surgery combined with other ocular procedures.
Results: Reason for cataract development was prolonged steroid treatment (15 eyes), previous vitrectomy (11 eyes), perforated lens destruction (8 eyes), progression of congenital cataract (8 eyes), uveitis (6 eyes) and unclear etiology (12 eyes). Preoperative vision was between hand movement and 0.8 (mean 0.23) and at the end of our follow-up period vision was in average 0.85 ranging from hand movement to 1.2. In 16 eyes (27%) YAG laser treatment for posterior capsule opacifications was performed. Complications related to endophthalmitis or pseudophakic retinal detachment were not observed. No patient felt discomfort from loss of accomodative ability.
Conclusions: For most cataracts in young adults a defined cause exists. There was no increased rate of complications in younger patients when compared to senior patient populations. Therefore, criteria for cataract surgery should be similar to those applied in older patients undergoing cataract surgery.
Department of Ophthalmology, Philipps-University, 35037 Marburg, Germany