Outcomes of phacoemulsification in patients with uveitis at a tertiary center in São Paulo, Brazil: a review of cases from 2007 to 2012

ABSTRACT Purpose: To evaluate the outcomes of phacoemulsification with intraocular lens (IOL) implantation in eyes with uveitis. Methods: Consecutive patients with uveitis and cataracts who had phacoemulsification and acrylic IOL implantation during 2007-2012 were evaluated for visual outcomes, etiology, and complications. Inflammation was controlled for at least 3 months before surgery, and oral prednisone (0.5 mg/kg/day) was administered to patients with non-infectious uveitis. Results: This study investigated 45 eyes in 38 patients with a mean age of 52 ± 12.5 years. The most common etiologies among non-infectious causes (n=32; 73.3%) were Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease (n=9), Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis (n=4), and sympathetic ophthalmia (n=3). Four cases were idiopathic. Among infectious cases (n=13; 28.9%), the most common causes were toxoplasmosis (n=6) and presumed ocular tuberculosis (n=4). An acrylic IOL was implanted in-the-bag in all cases. After 1-year follow-up, an improvement in visual acuity of two or more lines was observed in 38 eyes (84.4%), and 28 eyes (62.2%) achieved a postoperative visual acuity of ≥0.5. Posterior capsule opacification was observed in 10 eyes (22.2%). Persistent postoperative inflammation (of >6 months) was observed in seven eyes (15.5%) and recurrence occurred in four eyes (8.8%). IOL was explanted in one eye. Intraocular hypertension was observed in six eyes (13.3%). Conclusions: Phacoemulsification with IOL implantation improved vision in most patients with coexisting cataracts and uveitis. Good preoperative and postoperative control of inflammation plays an important role in achieving favorable visual outcomes. Furthermore, the final visual outcome depends on the posterior segment status.