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Cataract
Early Onset Cataracts
Glaucoma
Pediatrics

Long-term risk of glaucoma high after childhood cataract surgery

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Cataract surgery in childhood is associated with a high risk of late-onset glaucoma, according to results from a new study. Regular lifelong follow-up is important to ensure early diagnosis and prevent extensive vision loss, reported the researchers.

The study, which ran from January 2022 until December 2022, examined the long-term risk of glaucoma after participants underwent cataract surgery in childhood. Patients from a large family with hereditary childhood cataract who had cataract surgery before 18 years of age were included. Patients received an ophthalmologic examination to determine the presence of glaucoma or ocular hypertension (OHT) or contributed with a medical journal from their treating ophthalmologist. The risk of long-term glaucoma was determined using survival analysis, and risk factors were assessed using a Cox proportional hazards regression model.

The study included 68 participants (133 eyes) with a median age at cataract surgery of 7 years, with median follow-up time of 35 years after cataract surgery to glaucoma/OHT or the latest ophthalmologic examination. Twelve participants (18 eyes) had glaucoma, and 5 participants (8 eyes) had OHT, resulting in 15 participants with glaucoma/OHT. For those who were free of glaucoma before their 18th year, the long-term risk of glaucoma/OHT diagnosed in adulthood was 47.7% at the age of 70.

The researchers noted that they could not confirm or dismiss an association between glaucoma/OHT and sex, age at surgery, number of ocular interventions before 18 years of age or glaucoma after cataract surgery in a first-degree relative.

Reference
Schmidt DC, Eriksson F, Bach-Holm D, Grønskov K, Kessel L. Long-term risk of glaucoma after cataract surgery in childhood. Acta Ophthalmol. Published online January 17, 2024. doi:10.1111/aos.16636

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