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Ophthalmology. 1994 Mar;101(3):473-9.

Cataract surgery in patients with sarcoidosis-associated uveitis.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston 02114.



The authors analyzed the incidence of cataract development and the visual outcome of cataract surgery performed on patients with sarcoidosis-associated uveitis who were treated at the Immunology Service at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary during a 17-year period.


The records of 102 patients with sarcoidosis-associated uveitis who were treated with topical and regional corticosteroids, systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic steroids, or with systemic immunosuppressive chemotherapy were reviewed. Cataract surgery was performed on those eyes in which cataract developed, resulting in decreased visual acuity of 20/100 or less. The incidence of cataract development and visual results of cataract extraction and intraocular lens implantation were analyzed.


In this cohort of 102 patients, visually significant cataracts that warranted surgery developed in 10 (16 eyes). In addition, four patients (5 eyes) had a visually significant cataract at the time of first evaluation. A total of 14 patients (21 eyes) underwent cataract surgery. Posterior chamber lens implantation accompanied cataract surgery in 19 (90.5%) of 21 eyes. The average final visual acuity of the 21 eyes after cataract surgery was 20/51, and 61% of the eyes achieved a stable visual acuity of 20/40 or better. The major causes of the decreased visual acuity in patients who had less than 20/40 visual acuity were sequelae of chronic posterior uveitis, cystoid macular edema, epiretinal membrane, and glaucomatous optic nerve damage.


Posterior chamber lens implantation and cataract surgery in patients with sarcoidosis-associated uveitis can be well tolerated when absolute control of the inflammation is achieved. Pre-existing retinal pathology and glaucoma as a result of uncontrolled inflammation resulting in permanent ocular structural damage were found to be the most important factors for determining the postoperative final visual acuity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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