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Oliver Findl, Thomas Neumayer, Nino Hirnschall, Wolf Buehl; Natural Course of Elschnig Pearl Formation and Disappearance. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(3):1547-1553. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-3989.
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Purpose. To observe and analyze the daily and weekly changes in morphology and size of Elschnig pearls in eyes with after-cataract.
Methods. Pseudophakic eyes with pronounced regeneratory posterior capsule opacification (PCO) were included in this prospective study. High-resolution retroillumination images were taken, and the changes in size and shape of Elschnig pearls were analyzed at baseline and at 2, 7, and 14 days later using dedicated imaging software.
Results. In total, 6309 Elschnig pearls in 85 eyes of 77 patients were analyzed. On average, four pearls were found per square millimeter (range, 0.2–9.7/mm2; CV, 49.5%) with a mean cumulative area of 0.66 mm2 (range, 0.03–2.18 mm2; CV, 66.7%) of all marked pearls per eye and follow-up, which was 3.8% of the analyzed area. The mean pearl size was 9630 μm2 (range, 2390–33,745 μm2; CV, 61.0%) at baseline, which corresponded to a diameter of 174 μm. The mean change of a pearl per day was 583 μm2 (range, 175-1631 μm2; CV, 55.4%) or a 6% change in area. In total, 36% (CV, 5.5%) of all pearls increased in size, 7% (CV, 8.6%) did not change, and 35% (CV, 6.7%) decreased in size during 1 week. Furthermore, 11% (CV, 6,3%) of all pearls newly appeared, and the same number disappeared (CV, 5.7%) within 1 week.
Conclusions. Elschnig pearls disappear and appear within days. The degree of progression and regression varies greatly between eyes. Knowledge about Elschnig pearl turnover may be of importance for attempts to modulate lens epithelial regeneration or lens regrowth and for lens-refilling procedures.
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