June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Incidence and type of higher order corneal aberrations in the cataract population
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Neil Vyas
    Ophthalmology, Boston University, Boston, MA
  • Bonnie Henderson
    Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, Boston, MA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Neil Vyas, None; Bonnie Henderson, Alcon (C), Bausch and Lomb (C)
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 2602. doi:
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      Neil Vyas, Bonnie Henderson; Incidence and type of higher order corneal aberrations in the cataract population. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2602.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Corneal higher order aberrations (HOA) are common culprits in symptoms such as glare, halos, night vision disturbances, and decreased contrast sensitivity. These can become even more apparent after cataract surgery with presbyopia correcting multifocal intraocular lenses. Evaluation of HOAs has been proposed as screening tool to predict which patients may be dissatisfied after implantation of these lenses. This project compares the incidence and types of higher order aberrations in patients presenting for cataract extraction.


Retrospective case series of consecutive patients who presented for cataract extraction. Patients underwent topographical and higher order corneal wavefront mapping with the Nidek OPD 2. Age, gender, amounts and types of corneal higher order aberrations were recorded in both eyes.


200 eyes (100 patients) were evaluated. Trefoil was noted to have the highest incidence and highest Z-coefficient values across all age groups. It accounted for more of the total higher order aberrations than coma or quatrefoil. This was also noted to be consistent between eyes. A correlation between increasing age and increasing total amounts of quatrefoil was also observed. The average values for coma were similar between eyes across all age groups.


The total amount of corneal HOA, especially quatrefoil, increased with age. The most common HOA and highest Zernike coefficient in patients undergoing cataract surgery was trefoil. Knowing the average amount of different HOAs may be useful when evaluating the HOA maps of preoperative patients who are choosing multifocal intraocular lenses in order to better predict post operative satisfaction. Given the large variation of errors between eyes, each eye should be evaluated separately and successful outcome in one eye does not necessarily mean similar success can be anticipated in the fellow eye.

Keywords: 463 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence  

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