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Eye (Lond). 2003 Apr;17(3):393-406.

Calcification of modern foldable hydrogel intraocular lens designs.

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Center for Research on Ocular Therapeutics and Biodevices, Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, 167 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425-5536, USA.



To report and compare clinical and pathological features of hydrophilic acrylic intraocular lenses (IOLs) of three major designs, explanted from patients who had visual disturbances caused by opacification of the lens optic.


Eighty-seven hydrophilic acrylic IOLs (25 Hydroview, 54 SC60B-OUV, and 8 Aqua-Sense lenses) were explanted and sent to our center. Most patients became symptomatic during the second year after cataract surgery. A fine granularity was observed on the surface of the lens optic in the case of Hydroview. With the SC60B-OUV and Aqua-Sense lenses, the opacity resembled a nuclear cataract. Gross examination, light microscopy and staining with alizarin red and the von Kossa method (for calcium) were performed. Some lenses were submitted for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS).


Light microscopic and SEM analyses revealed the presence of irregular granular deposits on the external optical surfaces of Hydroview lenses. With the SC60B-OUV lenses, the opacity was caused by the presence of multiple fine, granular deposits within the lens optic, distributed in a line parallel to the anterior and posterior curvatures of the optic, with a clear zone just beneath its external surfaces. The Aqua-Sense lenses exhibited both patterns simultaneously. The deposits in all cases stained positive with alizarin red and von Kossa method. EDS also demonstrated the presence of calcium and phosphates within the deposits.


Differences in the water content of the hydrophilic acrylic materials used in the manufacture of these three lens designs may be responsible for the different patterns of calcium precipitation. Careful clinical follow up of patients implanted with these lenses is necessary to determine if this phenomenon is rare and sporadic or may be more widespread.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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