Purpose: To investigate the clinical features, visual acuity outcomes, and adverse events in patients with retained lens fragments managed by pars plana vitrectomy (PPV). Design: Retrospective, noncomparative, consecutive case series. Methods: Medical records of all patients who underwent PPV for retained lens fragments at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute during the 12-year interval between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2001, were reviewed. Results: The study included 343 eyes of 343 patients, with a median age of 76 years and a median follow-up after PPV of 8 months. The median interval between cataract surgery and PPV was 12 days. Visual acuity was ≥20/40 in 29 (9%) patients preoperatively and 190 (56%) at last follow-up (P < 0.001). Visual acuity was ≤20/200 in 224 (66%) patients preoperatively and 67 (20%) at last follow-up (P < 0.001). An intraocular pressure (IOP) ≥30 mmHg was present in 87 (25%) eyes preoperatively and 7 (2%) at last follow-up (P < 0.001); the number of patients on antiglaucoma medications at these two time points was 135 (40%) and 96 (29%), respectively (P = 0.001). Among the 148 (44%) patients with final vision <20/40, the primary cause of visual impairment was cystoid macular edema (CME) in 41 (29%), preexisting ocular disease in 34 (24%), corneal edema in 22 (15%), history of retinal detachment (RD) in 19 (13%), epiretinal membrane in 6 (4%), and other causes in 21 (15%). Significant predictors of better final visual acuity include better presenting visual acuity (P < 0.001), presence of an intraocular lens (i.e., no aphakia) before PPV (P = 0.026), no suprachoroidal hemorrhage (P = 0.010), no serous choroidal detachment (P = 0.037), no RD (P = 0.005), no CME (P = 0.038), and no additional surgery after the PPV (P < 0.001). Timing of PPV (i.e., ≤1 week versus >1 to ≤4 weeks versus >4 to ≤12 weeks versus >12 weeks between cataract surgery and PPV) was not significantly associated with final visual acuity or IOP outcome; there was also no significant difference in acuity or IOP outcome between patients who underwent PPV on the same day as cataract surgery compared with all other patients. Conclusions: The most important predictor of final visual acuity after PPV for retained lens fragments is a less complicated clinical course (e.g., no suprachoroidal hemorrhage, no RD, no CME, and no additional surgery after PPV). The most common cause of decreased final vision was CME.
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