To compare visual acuity outcomes and diabetic retinopathy progression after pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) versus combined pars plana vitrectomy and phacoemulsification (PPVCE) in patients with diabetes.
Retrospective review of 222 consecutive diabetic patients undergoing PPV or PPVCE.
A total of 251 eyes of 222 patients were evaluated (PPV = 122, PPVCE = 129). Four-year follow-up was 64% (161 eyes). Overall, patients undergoing PPVCE had better preoperative visual acuity (PPVCE = 20/80, PPV = 20/160, P = 0.03). At 4-year follow-up, visual acuity improved (PPV = +22, PPVCE = +11 letters) compared with baseline in both groups. After correcting for baseline differences in visual acuity, no statistically significant difference in final visual acuity was observed (PPVCE = 20/32, PPV = 20/50, P = 0.09). Results did not differ substantially by surgical indication (vitreous hemorrhage, traction retinal detachment, epiretinal membrane, and/or diabetic macular edema). Cataract progression occurred in 64%, and cataract surgery was performed in 39% of phakic eyes undergoing PPV. Rates of diabetic retinopathy progression, vitreous hemorrhage, and retinal detachment were not statistically different. Neovascular glaucoma developed in 2 patients (2%) after PPV and 6 patients (8%) after PPVCE (P = 0.07).
In diabetic patients, equivalent visual acuity improvement over 4 years was observed after PPV or PPVCE. Visual outcomes and retinopathy progression rates were not significantly different after either intervention, suggesting that PPVCE may be appropriate when indicated in patients with diabetes.