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H. Helbig, D. Barthelmes, J.C. Fleischhauer, M. Menghini, M.M. Kurz–Levin, M.M. Boesch, F.K. P. Sutter; Exudative Age Related Macular Degeneration Is Not Triggered By Cataract Surgery . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):2098.
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Concerns have been raised whether cataract surgery may trigger late stage age–related macular degeneration (AMD). Such an association would have widespread consequences. Here we retrospectively study a possible correlation between cataract surgery and the development of exudative AMD.
Records of all patients undergoing fluorescein angiography at our department between July 1998 and April 2004 were reviewed. 499 patients with recent onset of exAMD in one eye and early age–related maculopathy (ARM) in the fellow eye were included in the study. Lens status (phakic or pseudophakic) at the time of onset of exAMD and date of cataract surgery (if performed) were noted for each eye.
There was no significant difference in lens status between exAMD eyes and fellow eyes with early ARM (115/499 (23.0%) vs 112/499 (22.4%) pseudophakic, respectively, p=0.88; odds ratio 1.035; 95% CI 0.770–1.391). Subgroup analysis revealed no difference between the groups with large drusen, small drusen, or pigmentary changes only (20.3% vs 19.6% pseudophakic, p=0.92; 20.5% vs 23.3% pseudophakic, p=0.84; 33.3% vs 31.7% pseudophakic, P=1.0). In the subgroup of bilateral pseudophakia (n=64), eyes with exAMD had not been pseudophakic for a significantly longer period at the time of onset of exAMD than their fellow eyes with early ARM at the same time point (225.9±170.4 vs 209.9±158.2 weeks, p=0.27).
Our results provide strong evidence that cataract surgery is not a major risk factor for the development of exudative AMD.
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