To evaluate whether heparin eyedrops prevent or reduce posterior capsule opacification (PCO) after extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE) with intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.
Institute of Ophthalmology, University G. d’Annunzio, Chieti, Italy.
This 4 year, prospective, case-controlled study evaluated 200 patients who had ECCE and implantation of the same type of posterior chamber IOL. Patients were randomly assigned to receive topical heparin eyedrops postoperatively (heparin group, n = 100) or not to receive the eyedrops (control group, n = 100). Postoperative cell response, cellular precipitates on the IOL, and presence of PCO were evaluated.
There were no significant differences between groups in postoperative inflammation. The incidence of cellular precipitates was significantly lower in the heparin group than in the control group (P
< .001). A neodymium:YAG (Nd:YAG) posterior capsulotomy was done in 7 patients in the heparin group and 14 in the control group (P
= .15). During the first 24 months after surgery, the heparin group had a significantly lower incidence of Nd:YAG capsulotomy (P
< .05) and fibrotic PCO (P
Topical heparin eyedrops were effective in reducing fibrotic PCO in the long term, indicating their usefulness in the postoperative management of ECCE.