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Effect of Phacoemulsification on Visual Acuity and Macular Morphology in Patients with Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Małgorzata Figurska, Agnieszka Bogdan-Bandurska, Marek Rękas

(Department of Ophthalmology, Military Institute of Medicine, The Central Clinical Hospital of the Ministry of National Defense, Warsaw, Poland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24:6517-6524

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.909652

BACKGROUND: This article discusses the effectiveness of phacoemulsification cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation in patients with wet age-related macular degeneration in the inactive phase of the disease.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Forty-nine patients (50 eyes) aged 78.94±5.54 years, previously treated with intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents, were qualified for a prospective, randomized 12-month study. The participants were divided into 2 groups. Group I consisted of 25 patients (25 eyes) who were subjected to phacoemulsification cataract surgery. Group II consisted of 24 patients (25 eyes) who were not subjected to phacoemulsification cataract surgery despite having a lens opacity of grade II or higher according to the Lens Opacities Classification System.
RESULTS: After 12 months of follow-up, patients in group I gained on average 8.04 letters (p<0.001). Furthermore, 20% of the eyes had a significant improvement in best corrected visual acuity of ≥15 Early Treatment of Diabetic Retinopathy Study Chart letters. Patients in group II lost on average 1.96 letters (p>0.05). No significant differences between central retinal thickness values in either group (p>0.05) were noted. The mean number of intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents during the study was 2.64±1.98 in group I and 2.92±2.40 in group II (p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Phacoemulsification performed in eyes with wet age-related macular degeneration during the inactive phase of the disease significantly improves visual acuity. In addition, it does not significantly influence the frequency of intravitreal injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor agents or disease activity.

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