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Clin Ophthalmol. 2015 Jan 7;9:77-90. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S59009. eCollection 2015.

Pediatric cataract: challenges and future directions.

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Pediatric Ophthalmology, Strabismus, and Adult Motility, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, (UPMC), Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Cataract is a significant cause of visual disability in the pediatric population worldwide and can significantly impact the neurobiological development of a child. Early diagnosis and prompt surgical intervention is critical to prevent irreversible amblyopia. Thorough ocular evaluation, including the onset, duration, and morphology of a cataract, is essential to determine the timing for surgical intervention. Detailed assessment of the general health of the child, preferably in conjunction with a pediatrician, is helpful to rule out any associated systemic condition. Although pediatric cataracts have a diverse etiology, with the majority being idiopathic, genetic counseling and molecular testing should be undertaken with the help of a genetic counselor and/or geneticist in cases of hereditary cataracts. Advancement in surgical techniques and methods of optical rehabilitation has substantially improved the functional and anatomic outcomes of pediatric cataract surgeries in recent years. However, the phenomenon of refractive growth and the process of emmetropization have continued to puzzle pediatric ophthalmologists and highlight the need for future prospective studies. Posterior capsule opacification and secondary glaucoma are still the major postoperative complications necessitating long-term surveillance in children undergoing cataract surgery early in life. Successful management of pediatric cataracts depends on individualized care and experienced teamwork. We reviewed the etiology, preoperative evaluation including biometry, choice of intraocular lens, surgical techniques, and recent developments in the field of childhood cataract.


aphakia; children; infantile cataract; pediatric cataract; pseudophakia

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