To evaluate the effect of intraocular lens (IOL) haptic compressibility on the posterior capsule after cataract surgery.
Teaching hospital, London, United Kingdom.
In this randomized prospective study, 60 patients had standardized phacoemulsification with in-the-bag placement of a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) (Storz P497UV) or hydrogel (Storz Hydroview H60M) IOL. Both IOLs had PMMA haptics of identical configuration and length. The IOL haptic compressibility was measured in air and then during incubation in saline at 37°C over 1 month. Digital retroillumination imaging was performed 1, 7, 28, 90, 180, 360, and 720 days postoperatively. The presence and duration of postoperative capsule folds were recorded and correlated with the haptic compressibility measurements, lens epithelial cell (LEC) growth patterns on the posterior capsule at 6 months, and the extent of posterior capsule opacification.
On the first postoperative day, 21 patients (88%) in the Hydroview group had posterior capsule folds that persisted in 12 patients (50%) for 2 years. Nineteen patients (68%) in the PMMA group had folds at day 1 (P = .01), with 1 patient (3%) still having folds at 1 month (P = .0002) and no patient having folds at 3 months. At 6 months, 11 patients (46%) in the Hydroview group and no patient in the PMMA group had LEC growth in the direction of the folds. The PMMA IOLs showed a greater decrease in haptic compressibility during incubation.
Haptic compressibility should be an important consideration in IOL design. The results suggest that to avoid posterior capsule folds, the compressibility should be less than 2.5 mN.