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Br J Ophthalmol. 2002 Dec;86(12):1380-4.

Effects of dexamethasone, diclofenac, or placebo on the inflammatory response after cataract surgery.

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Karolinska Institute, St Erik's Eye Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.



To compare the inflammatory response after phacoemulsification and intraocular lens (IOL) implantation using postoperative treatment with dexamethasone, diclofenac, or placebo.


A prospective, randomised, controlled double masked study including 180 patients enrolled for cataract surgery. The patients were 64-85 years old and had no eye disease other than cataract. After phacoemulsification and IOL implantation the patients were randomised to topical treatment with dexamethasone phosphate 0.1% (group I), diclofenac sodium 0.1% (group II), or placebo (saline 0.9%) (group III). The drops were administered four times daily during the first week and twice daily during the second, third, and fourth weeks. The inflammatory reaction in the anterior chamber was measured with laser flare photometry preoperatively and 1, 3, and 8 days, 2 and 4 weeks, 2 and 6 months, and 1, 2, and 4 years postoperatively. Inflammatory symptoms were registered. Biomicroscopy and visual acuity determinations were performed. The rate of Nd:YAG laser posterior capsulotomies after 2 and 4 years was determined.


After 3 and 8 days (p <0.0001), 2 weeks (p <0.0001), and 1 month (p = 0.0013) median flare was highest in group III. There were no significant differences between group I and II. Inflammatory symptoms and striate keratopathy were more common in group III.


Dexamethasone and diclofenac were equally effective in reducing postoperative inflammation after phacoemulsification and IOL implantation in eyes with no other disease than cataract. Both substances were more effective than placebo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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