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Ophthalmic Surg Lasers. 1998 Apr;29(4):286-94.

The course of age-related macular degeneration following bilateral cataract surgery.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Kaplan Hospital, Rehovot, Israel.



Progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) following cataract surgery has been described. The aim of this study was to investigate whether an uneventful postoperative maculopathic course in one eye (the first eye) may predict a similar prognosis for the fellow eye (the second eye).


Thirty-three patients with bilateral, similar, early AMD (defined by the presence of drusen and/or pigmentary abnormalities on fundal examinations and by the absence of late leakage as documented by fluorescein angiography) who had undergone unilateral cataract surgery, had had a stable postoperative maculopathic course following the first operation, and were scheduled for cataract surgery in the second eye were prospectively observed for at least 1 year after the second operation. The course of maculopathy of the second eye was compared with that of the first eye during the follow-up period of the second eye.


A total of 9 of the second eyes (27.2%) showed progression to wet AMD. Of these, 1 patient (3%) had progression in both eyes and 8 patients (24.2%) had progression in the second eye only. The conditions of 2 of the first operated on eyes (6.1%) deteriorated (P < .05). Hypertension (P < .05), soft drusen (P < .01), and Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy (P < .05) were risk factors for development of wet AMD.


In this study, 24.2% of the patients with early AMD who underwent bilateral cataract surgery and had an uneventful maculopathic course in the first eye had wet AMD in the second eye. Thus, patients with early AMD and soft drusen undergoing bilateral cataract surgery should be monitored for early detection of progression of maculopathy. Further prospective studies are needed to determine the course of maculopathy following cataract surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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