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Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2002 Feb;80(1):19-24.

Cataract surgery on diabetic patients. A prospective evaluation of risk factors and complications.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Herlev University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.



This study presents an evaluation of cataract surgery on diabetic patients. One experienced surgeon carried out phaco emulsification on all subjects and the same surface-coated one-piece PMMA-lens-type was implanted. The lens fluorescence and the blood-aqueous barrier (BAB) were then evaluated as experimental preoperative risk indicators.


During follow-up, 10 out of 39 diabetic patients progressed unilaterally in diabetic retinopathy or developed macular oedema, a significant relative risk. Neither lens fluorescence, BAB, HbA1c, level of retinopathy, type/duration of diabetes, diabetes treatment or antihypertensive treatment differed significantly between the group of patients with postoperative progression of retinopathy/macular oedema and those without. Results indicated NIDDM (non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus/type 2 diabetes) patients might have increased risk of a postoperative macular oedema.


When diabetic retinopathy (DR) is not in a proliferative phase it should not be regarded as a contraindication to modern cataract surgery. Neither lens fluorescence nor BAB is valuable as a risk indicator for postoperative progression of DR.

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