Ten-Year Longitudinal Visual Function and Nd: YAG Laser Capsulotomy Rates in Patients Less Than 65 Years at Cataract Surgery

Published:November 18, 2009DOI:


      To investigate the longitudinal subjective and objective visual functional results in adult cataract patients younger than 65 years at surgery. To evaluate the 10-year cumulative incidence of neodymium–yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser treatment.


      A prospective, longitudinal, population-based cohort study.


      The study comprised 116 patients younger than 65 years who had cataract surgery during 1 year at Norrlands University Hospital, Umeå, Sweden. Most patients (94%) had received implantation with a hydrophobic acrylic intraocular lens. Evaluated were visual acuity (VA) and visual function questionnaire (VF-14) results before and after surgery. A comparison with patients 65 years or older at surgery was made. Ten years later, 102 survivors were offered eye examinations and again asked to fill out the questionnaire. Past Nd:YAG laser treatment, as well as high- and low-contrast VA results, were analyzed.


      Ten years postoperatively, 37% of the patients under 65 at surgery had been treated with Nd:YAG in comparison to 20% of the older patients. The cumulative incidence for not having Nd:YAG over 10 years was 72% for those under 65 and 85% for the patients 65 years or more at surgery. Eighteen percent of the younger patients had lost more than 0.1 logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution (logMAR) units of the operated eye, compared with 37% of the older (P = .00003). A reduction in VF-14 score of 10 points or more was found in 9% of the younger and 28% of the older cataract surgery patients (P = .00004).


      Ten years after surgery, subjective and objective visual function remained stable in most patients younger than 65 years at surgery. More than one-third had received a posterior capsulotomy. Only a few patients with posterior capsular opacification requiring Nd:YAG were untreated at the 10-year follow-up.
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      Britta Lundqvist, MD, is a senior consultant at the Department of Ophthalmology, Umeå University Hospital, Sweden. Her sub-specialities are cataract surgery and glaucoma, and her main research interests are cataract surgery outcomes.